On the margins of the 74th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Director a.i. of UNICRI, signed the Statement of Intent for a strategic partnership agreement between their respective entities.
Highlighting the complex and evolving threat of terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism and emphasising the need for an efficient, coherent and coordinated approach, the agreement is intended inter alia to ensure effective co-ordination and the exchange of information between UNOCT and UNICRI on preventing and countering terrorism. Furthermore, the agreement envisages the development of joint activities to support the balanced implementation of the four pillars of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and relevant Security Council resolutions. The four pillars include measures to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; to prevent and combat terrorism; to build States’ capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and to strengthen the role of the UN System in that regard; and to ensure respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism.
Both the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the UN Secretary General’s Plan of Action to prevent violent extremism emphasize the importance of strengthening coordination and coherence between UN entities to effectively support member States and regional and sub-regional organizations to address the scourge of terrorism, in ways that are consistent with the national strategies of the Member States.
The strategic partnership is also in line with the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact, which is chaired by UNOCT and of which UNICRI is a member. The Compact promotes a common action approach to coordination and coherence in the work of the United Nations system to prevent and counter terrorism and to strengthen support to Member States, while ensuring compliance with international law.
On the occasion of the signature of the agreement, Ms. Bartsiotas stated that, while this agreement is new, the spirit of cooperation with UNOCT is already well established and UNICRI is proudly looking forward to continuing to work together for a future without terrorism.
UNOCT was established on 15 June 2017 as part of the UN Secretariat by the UN General Assembly through resolution 71/291 to: provide leadership on the General Assembly counter-terrorism mandates; enhance coordination and coherence to ensure the balanced implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy; strengthen the delivery of UN counter-terrorism capacity-building assistance to Member States; improve visibility, advocacy and resource mobilization for UN counter-terrorism efforts; and ensure that due priority is given to counter-terrorism across the UN system and that the important work on preventing violent extremism is firmly rooted in the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.