Spain proposes to the UN that it host the second World Congress of Victims of Terrorism

News - 2022.9.8

The aim of this formal offer, as explained by the minister, is to guarantee the continuity of this forum sponsored by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and inaugurated on Thursday, and to advance in the promotion of global policies of reparation and support for the victims of terrorism and the preservation of their memory.

Grande-Marlaska pointed out that "we do not want this to stop here, which is why we are offering to hold the second world congress in Spain, a country that has suffered both internal and international jihadist terrorism for many years and is an international benchmark in the protection of the victims of terrorism, and consequently may well be the best venue for this second congress".

Spain, which has collaborated in the organisation of this first congress as co-chair of the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism, has for years played a leading role in promoting policies to combat terrorism and particularly in supporting the victims of terrorism within the United Nations.

In this context, Grande-Marlaska advocated before the UN officials for the creation of a global network of victims' associations that would facilitate mutual support, the exchange of communication and experiences and the collaboration of the different organisations in each country.

The minister indicated that, to this effect, countries with less experience and capabilities in this field will be able to benefit from the contributions of countries like Spain, whose experience, institutional support, legislation and network of associations is a benchmark at international level.

Last, Grande-Marlaska conveyed Spain's commitment to make an initial contribution of 400,000 euros to create an international solidarity fund that can provide financial support to associations and victims around the world who do not have resources of this type.

"The objective is that all victims' associations and all victims, regardless of the country in which they are based, can develop protection and assistance projects and that there are no differences between them depending on their country of residence or where they suffered the terrorist attack," said the Minister for Home Affairs.

NATO Office in Madrid

These initiatives are in addition to those adopted in recent months, and which led the United Nations to hold the High-Level International Conference on Human Rights, Civil Society and Counter-Terrorism in Malaga last May.

It also highlights the process of opening a regional headquarters of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office in Madrid, which will become operational this year, 2022.

These milestones are the result of the work carried out by Spain since 2019 as co-chair of the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism, a position from which it has promoted the seventh review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the first of a comprehensive nature and approved by consensus by the General Assembly in 2021.

In addition to security, in this review aspects such as prevention, respect for human rights, support for victims and the participation of civil society in general and women in particular, are gaining in relevance.

This ongoing work is now culminating with the Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism, the first of its kind, in whose organisation both the government and the permanent representation of Spain at the United Nations have played a decisive role.

This forum brings together in New York representatives of United Nations Member States, victims of terrorism and their associations, international entities and civil society organisations, as well as experts and academic researchers, who over the course of the two days will analyse issues such as measures to recognise and remember the victims of terrorism, the importance of their access to justice, the protection of their rights, their assistance and support, and attention to the rights and needs of victims of terrorism with specific needs, among other aspects.

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