UN chief calls terrorism ‘an affront to humanity’; underscores extra vigilance

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 12 (APP): With extremist groups expanding their reach, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday called on the international community not to lower its guard against terrorism.

The appeal came in his message to mark the first-ever ‘International Day for the Prevention of Violent Extremism as and when Conducive to Terrorism’, established in December by the UN General Assembly.

The UN chief described terrorism as an “affront to humanity as it undermines the values that bind us together.”

Terrorism also threatens collective efforts to promote peace and security, protect human rights, provide humanitarian aid, and advance sustainable development, Guterres said.

“We must be more vigilant than ever,” he said, noting that “terrorist and violent extremist groups are finding fertile ground on the internet to spew their vicious venom.”

He said neo-Nazi, white supremacist movements are becoming more dangerous by the day and now represent the top internal security threat in several countries, as well as the fastest growing.

Countries must act to confront the challenge through prevention, and by addressing the underlying conditions that drive terrorism in the first place, he added.

He highlighted the importance of inclusion and ensuring that counter-terrorism strategies reflect a wide array of voices — especially minorities, women, and young people.

Human rights must be at the core of all counter-terrorism policies, he added.

“Today and every day, let us work together to build more peaceful, inclusive, and stable societies in which terror and violent extremism have no home,” the secretary-general said.

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