The International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism is a time for solidarity, to stand with victims of terrorism, their families and loved ones, to pay tribute to their resilience, and to commit to greater action to prevent future tragedies.
The day is an opportunity to recognize the plight of all those affected by terrorism, and the need to give voice to victims. Survivors of terrorism and their families can play a crucial role in countering the appeal of terrorism, ensuring accountability for terrorism crimes, and advocating for justice by keeping the dignity and interests of victims at the heart of our terrorism prevention responses.
I am pleased that today’s event pays special attention to the importance of psychological and psychosocial support, and protection.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime is proud to work with Member States, victims’ organizations, civil society groups and other international organizations to strengthen national legislation and policies that support and protect victims of acts of terrorism, in line with the UNODC Strategy for 2021-2025.
Our Office has developed a range of materials and tools that take stock of national experiences and programmes, and that provide strategies for implementing laws and building institutional capacity. Resources include Good Practices in Supporting Victims of Terrorism within the Criminal Justice Framework, and a handbook on The Criminal Justice Response to Support Victims of Acts of Terrorism.
UNODC has also provided a forum to enable victims of terrorism to share their experiences first-hand to help promote peace and de-legitimize justifications for terrorist violence, in line with the tool From victims of terrorism to messengers for peace: a strategic approach, which we launched at the International Day last year.
We are also developing model legislative provisions addressing support for victims of terrorism, in cooperation with our partners the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, which will be launched later this year.
Together with the Lebanese Association for Victims of Terrorism, UNODC is working with partners in Iraq to guarantee victims’ rights during criminal proceedings. In keeping with the theme of today’s event, we promote the rehabilitation and empowerment of victims of terrorism within their communities through psychological support, while ensuring that their needs and rights are safeguarded in the judicial system.
I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Government of Iraq for the fruitful collaboration and to the government of the Netherlands for funding this important project.
I am also grateful to the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism for their tireless leadership in promoting and protecting the human rights of the victims of terrorism, and advocating for victims’ needs.
On this day, let us stand with and honour the victims and survivors of terrorism by pledging to stand for the rule of law and justice.