Yury Fedotov

Director General/Executive Director


Special event to observe the 2019 International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism

21 August 2019



Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for joining us to mark the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to Victims of Terrorism.

Recent terrorist attacks around the world have driven home the terrible truth that no society, no country remains unscathed or unscarred.

Too many people continue to lose their lives to terrorism, and families and communities continue to suffer.

This day of remembrance and tribute is to recall all those who have suffered at the hands of terrorists, and to reaffirm our determination to stand united and do everything we can to keep such tragedies from occurring again.

Our partners are first and foremost the victims and survivors of terrorism themselves, and UNODC is dedicated to empowering all those affected by this crime to take action.

And yet, victims and survivors often face challenges in seeking justice. These can include difficulties with access to information before, during and after the criminal process, as well as a lack of appropriate gender- and age-sensitive mechanisms or coordination to provide longer-term medical, financial and psychosocial support.

Governments must do more to advance victim-centred, rights-based criminal justice approaches as part of comprehensive counter-terrorism frameworks that address all aspects of victims' needs even as they hold perpetrators to account.

That is why UNODC is working with the UN Office of Counter Terrorism and other partners to help countries implement the UN global counter-terrorism strategy.

Women are often targeted by terrorists, and UNODC has recently published a handbook on Gender Dimensions of Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism, which seeks to support governments in developing gender-sensitive measures and addressing specific challenges including stigma and discrimination.

We need the active participation and leadership of women if we want to strengthen terrorism prevention and response.

Indeed, the voices of all victims and survivors of terrorism are crucial in countering terrorism and preventing future attacks.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the survivors who have joined us here today.

By speaking out against hatred and sharing the truth of your experience, you have helped to aid healing and advance understanding.


Ladies and gentlemen,

This year's International Day focuses on the resilience and courage of victims and their families, and honours the many women and men who have overcome tragedy to become vital allies in the fight against terrorism.

Their voices rise above the twisted narratives of terrorists and sound a clarion call for justice. It is the duty of the international community to amplify these voices.

Solidarity must be backed by meaningful support. UNODC remains your dedicated partner in strengthening the global alliance against terrorism.

Thank you.