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Monday, 20 August 2018 18:45

DSRSG Alice Walpole video message on the first International Day of Remembrance of, and Tribute to, the Victims of Terrorism (21 August)

Baghdad, 21 August 2018 In December last year, the United Nations General Assembly decided that there should be an annual International Day of Remembrance of, and Tribute to, the Victims of Terrorism, to honour and support the victims and survivors of terrorism, and to promote and protect their human rights and fundamental freedoms. The UN General Assembly chose 21 August as the date.

The Day is being observed for the first time this year.

Terrorism may be the most challenging issue of our time. It is a serious threat to global peace and security. The number and deadliness of ruthless terrorist attacks on civilians has increased in recent years, shattering countless communities and destroying lives.

No country can count itself immune. But, while many are affected by terrorism today, victims have largely been concentrated in a small number of Member States. Last year, 2017, nearly three-quarters of all deaths caused by terrorism were in just five countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria and, of course, our home Iraq, which suffered greatly from the terror of Da’esh.

The United Nations itself is regularly targeted. Only two days ago, we marked the 15th anniversary of the attack on the headquarters of the United Nations mission in Iraq, in which 22 people lost their lives and more than a hundred were injured, some severely.

Victims of terrorism continue to struggle to get their voices heard, have their needs supported and their rights upheld. Victims often feel forgotten and neglected once the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack fades.

The primary responsibility to support victims of terrorism and uphold their rights rests with Member States. But, the United Nations has been working to provide resources, mobilise the international community and better address the needs of victims of terrorism.

Our hearts go out to all those who have been victims of terrorism here in Iraq. And to their families. We know that you have suffered and are still suffering. Terrorism must be eliminated from this country; the United Nations remains committed to helping the government and people of Iraq reach that goal.