Victims of violent extremism play essential role in counter-terrorism efforts and need support, Lopatka says at UN

Victims of violent extremism play essential role in counter-terrorism efforts and need support, Lopatka says at UN

Press Releases /2022 /

NEW YORK, 9 September 2022 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Vice-President and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism (CCT) Reinhold Lopatka (Austria) is representing the Assembly at the UN Global Congress on Victims of Terrorism, taking place in New York on 8-9 September.

Reinhold Lopatka addresses UN Global Congress on
Victims of Terrorism in New York on 8 September.

Advancing the rights and needs of victims of terrorism is essential towards ensuring healing and post-traumatic growth, Lopatka said at the UN yesterday, noting that measures of recognition and remembrance symbolize a sense of public support from the State and society as a whole, acknowledge the individual suffering of victims, and enable the provision of future rehabilitative and reparative services. It is also a crucial terrorism prevention measure, he said.

“We should realize that survivors of terror attacks play a key role in countering extremist violence,” Lopatka said. “They do that as witnesses in court trials; and they do that as beacons of hope in our societies. They help us preserve the memory of those who perished at the hand of terrorists, and they remind us that we need to do more to protect our citizens.”

Lopatka also spoke about the growing threat of terrorist attacks based on xenophobia, racism, and other forms of intolerance, as well as terrorism carried out in the name of religion. While not a new phenomenon, he said, it is of increasing international concern, especially in regard to the protection and support of victims of such attacks.

In New York, Lopatka highlighted the Counter-Terrorism Parliamentary Co-ordination mechanism among parliamentary assemblies as an important tool, stressing that the OSCE PA is honored to act as the first President of this co-ordination platform. He emphasized the need for a regular rotation of the Presidency to create shared ownership among all parliamentary assemblies, and stressed that during the OSCE PA’s one-year Presidency it will work to boost global parliamentary engagement across the globe on issues such as foreign terrorist fighters and prevention of radicalization. This will be pursued through dedicated Regional Policy Dialogues for Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Lopatka said, with a special eye to regional hotspots such as the Sahel.

In a bilateral meeting Thursday with Vladimir Voronkov, the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, Lopatka highlighted the essential need for co-ordinated global efforts to address top security threats, such as countering terrorism and violent extremism, and preventing radicalization. He stressed how, despite growing polarization in the international community, the CCT strives to build trust and bring a common purpose among members on critical security matters for all citizens of the OSCE area.

Lopatka also presented the Parliamentary Assembly’s resolution on the Victims of Terrorism, which was adopted at July’s Annual Session in Birmingham, underlining that it was based on the UN model legislative provisions to support and protect the rights and needs of victims of terrorism. He expressed his hope to Voronkov that it will become a clear benchmark for the efforts of OSCE participating States in this context.

Nat ParryHead of Communications and Press
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