UN counter-terrorism chief advocates multilateral approach beyond force

(Xinhua) 10:11, February 16, 2024

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- The UN's top counter-terrorism official on Thursday emphasized the need for international cooperation and a comprehensive strategy to effectively combat the global threat of terrorism, advocating a multilateral approach that goes beyond the use of force.

"Force alone is not the answer," said Vladimir Voronkov, under-secretary-general for the Office of Counter-Terrorism, during his address to the UN Security Council.

He underscored the necessity of "comprehensive responses, firmly grounded in political strategies, anchored in international law, and based on all-of-government and all-of-society approaches."

Referring to the secretary-general's report on the persistent threat posed by Da'esh, also known as ISIL, Voronkov said that despite significant strides in diminishing the group's operational capabilities, it continues to pose a serious threat, especially in conflict zones.

"The prolonged delay in announcing a new leader following the killing of his predecessor was indicative of internal challenges within the group," Voronkov pointed out.

He also noted the success of member states' efforts in countering terrorist financing, with Da'esh's financial reserves now estimated to be between 10 million U.S. dollars and 25 million dollars, significantly lower than in previous years.

The counter-terrorism chief also acknowledged the progress made in combating Da'esh affiliates in various regions, including Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, and Mozambique. However, he warned of the potential for Da'esh's resurgence, evidenced by increased attacks in Iraq and Syria since November, which underscore the group's enduring resilience.

Voronkov highlighted the challenges in West Africa and the Sahel, where Da'esh and its affiliates continue to exploit local disputes and the complex security environment to further their agenda.

In his concluding remarks, Voronkov reiterated the UN's dedication to counter-terrorism efforts and called on member states to be mindful of the unintended consequences of certain measures.

He stressed the importance of ensuring that counter-terrorism strategies are grounded in international law, including human rights and humanitarian law. 

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Liu Ning)


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