Ghada Waly

Director-General/Executive Director


Third High-Level Strategic Dialogue between the State of Qatar and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism

  09 December 2020


Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for the invitation to join the Third High-Level Strategic Dialogue between Qatar and UNOCT, to discuss our joint efforts to provide technical and capacity-building assistance to prevent and counter terrorism.

I had the opportunity on Monday to join you for the Soft Launch of the International Hub on Behavioural Insights to Counter Terrorism, the signing for which was the productive result of the Second Dialogue.

Addressing root causes and driving factors behind radicalization to violent extremism, leading to terrorism, requires holistic and comprehensive responses. UNODC is available to support the Hub with our experience and research expertise to improve understanding of terrorism risk factors.

Our Office takes an integrated approach to the support we deliver to Member States across our mandate areas of drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism.

This includes our work under the Doha Declaration Global Programme supported by Qatar to promote a culture of lawfulness.

Diverse initiatives under the programme are contributing to holistic terrorism prevention responses, including through activities to strengthen judicial integrity, and to promote the rehabilitation and social integration of prisoners.

The Programme has a strong focus on building the resilience of young people before they come into contact with the criminal justice system, with initiatives to prevent youth crime through sports-based programmes and life-skills training, and to support education integrating crime prevention and the rule of law for all school levels.

UNODC is also a partner of UNOCT in important Qatar-funded initiatives in the area of terrorism prevention.

Our work together includes support to parliaments, in cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Under this project, UNODC provides legislative advice and assistance to prevent and counter terrorism, primarily through support to countries in Africa, including Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Work is also about to begin for Cameroon, Ghana and Sudan, as well as Colombia.

Moreover, in the framework of this initiative, UNODC, UNOCT and IPU are developing model legislative provisions on victims of terrorism by next summer, to support parliaments in legislating on support to victims.

UNODC is also a proud partner under the Countering Terrorist Travel Programme, providing legislative assistance and law enforcement cooperation support through our AIRCOP programme, to assist countries in addressing challenges posed by foreign terrorist fighters.

These global initiatives are ambitious in scale and scope, and they leverage the capacities and expertise of many different actors.

Looking ahead, I am determined to further step up UNODC engagement, through our new corporate strategy that we are launching next month, and through the UNODC-UNOCT plan of action that USG Voronkov and I signed together yesterday.

I particularly see opportunities to enhance our partnership with UNOCT on protecting victims of terrorism.

UNODC provides Member States with specialized resources and training to strengthen national policies, laws and institutional capacities to support the rights and needs of victims.

Our assistance includes training for counter-terrorism investigators to adopt human rights-compliant interviewing techniques, and we have published guidance on gender-sensitive criminal justice responses, as well as on supporting victims to contribute to whole-of-society efforts to prevent violent extremism leading to terrorism.

Furthermore, UNODC is strengthening our comprehensive support to Member States to confront linkages between terrorism, drugs, crime and corruption, which represent a major challenge for governments and the international community.

We are doing this through alliances within and outside the UN system, including with UNOCT, and with civil society, academia and the private sector.

We need to promote synergies wherever possible to deliver on high-level outcomes, and UNODC is committed to contributing our unique value-added to partnerships in the fight against terrorism, with a focus on prevention and protecting vulnerable groups and victims.

In closing, allow me to thank you once again for inviting UNODC to take part in this dialogue. We look forward to our continued cooperation and engagement.

Thank you.