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As Da’esh, Al-Qaida Expand across East Africa, Human Rights-Compliant Approach Key for Long-Term Success in Ending Terrorism, Secretary-General Tells Aqaba Process

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message to the Aqaba Process meeting on East Africa, delivered by Raffi Gregorian, Director and Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office, in Aqaba, Jordan, today:

In my recent report on Our Common Agenda, I presented my vision for a reinvigorated inclusive, networked and effective multilateralism to provide a solid foundation for reducing global strategic risks, including terrorism.

The Aqaba Process, initiated by His Majesty King Abdullah II, is an important vehicle for developing both a shared understanding of the challenges posed by terrorism and for identifying solutions and creating networks that can help mitigate the risks it poses to international peace and security.

Despite Member States’ considerable efforts, Da’esh, Al-Qaida and their affiliates have expanded and intensified their activities in parts of Africa, causing considerable suffering and setting back human development and security.

The interplay between terrorism, armed conflict, transnational organized crime, intercommunal violence, and socioeconomic grievances is aggravating the situation.  So, too, is the exploitation of new and emerging technologies by terrorists, access to and use of small arms and light weapons, and online efforts, including through video games, to recruit operatives and generate resources.

In the two-plus decades since the United States embassy bombings in Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania, we have learned that, while continued pressure against terrorist forces is still needed, a human rights-compliant, rule of law-based, gender-sensitive and whole-of-society approach to preventing and countering terrorism remains the only effective strategy for long-term success.

I wish you fruitful deliberations that help us build a future without terrorism.

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