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Terrorism is fundamentally denial, destruction of human rights-UN Chief

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TEHRAN, 17 November 2017 (UNIC) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in London on Thursday that terrorism is fundamentally the denial and destruction of human rights.

In his speech
at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS), he said that the fight against terrorism will never succeed by perpetuating the same denial and destruction.

“We must relentlessly fight terrorism to protect human rights,” the Secretary-General said adding and at the same time, when we protect human rights, we are tackling the root causes of terrorism. 

He pointed out that for the power of human rights to bond is stronger than the power of terrorism to devastate.

He emphasized that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, ethnicity or race and there is no excuse for terrorism.

Referring to conditions that are conducive to terrorism and violent extremism, the Secretary General said if we want to address and avoid the gap between this global threat and our collective response, we need to pin them down.

“First, it is clear that terrorist groups exploit conflict zones and ungoverned territories,” he said adding that while terrorism often starts in conflict zones, it reaches far beyond them, organizing and inspiring attacks and radicalizing people across borders and continents.

He said second, lack of development, and inclusive governance, including extreme poverty, inequality, as well as exclusion and discrimination are also drivers for terrorism and violent extremism, he said.

Guterres emphasized that terrorism thrives when disenfranchised people meet nothing but indifference and nihilism. It is deeply rooted in hopelessness and despair.

“That is why human rights, all human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights, are unquestionably a part of the solution in fighting terrorism,” he said.

He suggested five key counter-terrorism priorities:

Number one, we need much stronger international cooperation on counter-terrorism.

Number two key route to more effective counter-terrorism is a sustained focus on prevention.

Number three, upholding human rights and the rule of law is the safest way to prevent a vicious circle of instability and resentment.

Number of Four, we must win the battle of ideas. 

Fifth and Finally, we must lift up the voices of the victims of terrorism.

At the end, the UN Secretary-General called on world leader and told them that beyond security measures, we need education and social cohesion.

“That is how young people keep from false illusions afar, and become clear-thinking and enlightened citizens,” he concluded.

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