Grande-Marlaska conveys to the UN Spain's "firm and unquestionable" commitment to the fight against terrorism

News - 2022.9.8

The Minister for Home Affairs, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, held a bilateral meeting on Wednesday with the United Nations Assistant Secretary General for the Counter-Terrorism Office, Vladimir Voronkov, in which he conveyed Spain's "firm and unquestionable" commitment to the fight against terrorism.

In this regard, the Spanish minister highlighted Spain's participation and track record in the various international forums and groups dedicated to the fight against terrorism. "We were the first non-permanent member of the Security Council to chair the Counter-Terrorism Committee and we facilitated the seventh review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in 2021," he told Voronkov.

The bilateral meeting took place in the framework of the United Nations World Congress on Victims of Terrorism, which is being held from Thursday at the United Nations headquarters in New York (United States) and which brings together government representatives, victims of terrorism from all over the world, as well as academics and experts in the field. The Minister for Home Affairs will be participating this Thursday in the inauguration of this Congress at the United Nations General Assembly.

Grande-Marlaska stressed to Voronkov that this Global Congress represents "the culmination of sustained work over time, in which Spain has played a decisive role.

The meeting with Voronkov also served to reiterate the Spanish government's support for the activities of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office. "The first phase of growth and consolidation of the Office must now be followed by a second phase of strengthening," said Grande-Marlaska.

Grande-Marlaska was accompanied at the meeting by the Spanish Ambassador to the United Nations, Agustín Santos; the Director General for Support to Victims of Terrorism of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Montserrat Torija; and the Director of the Intelligence Centre against Terrorism and Organised Crime, Manuel Navarrete.

This is the second time that Grande-Marlaska and Voronkov have met this year, after the meeting they held last May in Malaga, following the High-Level International Conference on Human Rights, Civil Society and the Fight against Terrorism, organised by the UN and the Spanish government and held at the Palacio de Ferias y Congresos in the city of Malaga.

Grande-Marlaska took advantage of that meeting to convey Spain's support for the Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism, which is taking place in New York.

On that occasion, the Minister for Home Affairs and the UN Under Secretary General also discussed the process of opening a regional UNOCT headquarters in Madrid, which will become operational in 2022.

At Wednesday's meeting, Grande-Marlaska and Voronkov returned to this issue and both expressed the wish that the headquarters in Madrid would begin its activity as soon as possible in order to "start working on new projects of common interest to all".

Exhibition

After the meeting, Voronkov, Grande-Marlaska and the former Minister for Home Affairs and current Deputy Prime Minister and National Security Advisor to the Government of Iraq toured the exhibition 'Memories'. During the tour of the exhibition, the three leaders were accompanied by victims who are collaborating with the United Nations in this project, for which they have donated various personal objects that symbolise the drama that suffering a terrorist attack represented in their personal lives.

The minister's activity in New York on Wednesday was complemented by a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and its Memorial Museum, where a tribute was paid to the victims on the 21st anniversary of the attack.

The Minister for Home Affairs closed the day by attending the screening of the film 'Maixabel' at the Lincoln Center in New York, accompanied by the director of this centre, Lesli Klainberg, and the director of the Queen Sofia Institute, Begoña Santos.

Before the screening, speeches were given by Maixabel Lasa, widow of the socialist leader Juan María Jaúregui, on whom the film is based, and Amy O'Neill, victim of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Non official translation