Qatar said that, in light of the exceptional circumstances resulting from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, there is a need to increase the level of support for victims of terrorism because they are part of society and they are affected by the difficulties arising from the pandemic.
This came in a statement delivered by HE the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani in Webinar III: Addressing the Plight of Victims of Terrorism in a Challenging Environment", during the UN's 2020 virtual counter-terrorism week theme of "Strategic and Practical Challenges of Countering Terrorism in a Global Pandemic Environment".
She said that Qatar attaches great importance to the issue of the rights of victims of terrorism and providing support to them.
This is in line with Qatar's effective role in combating terrorism, protecting human rights, humanitarian work, and accountability for the most serious crimes.
Accordingly, Qatar directed part of its humanitarian aid to the regions affected by terrorism, such as the assistance it provided to Mosul in Iraq. Qatar is a key supporter of the work of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by ISIS (UNITAD), and Qatar is one of the strongest supporters of General Assembly resolutions on victims of terrorism, and has been one of the founding countries of the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism, Sheikha Alya said, praising the efforts of Spain and Afghanistan in leading the work of this group.
She pointed out that "when we address the plight of the victims of terrorism in a challenging environment, we must remember that the war on terrorism aims to eradicate this scourge and address its root causes, prevent damage and suffering to the victims, and prevent any violation of their humanity and their dignity, because the victims are the human dimension of the impact of terrorism and they have an important role in the war on terrorism and violent extremism by making their voices heard and exposing the delusion of terrorist rhetoric and terrorist agendas and their actual effects on ordinary people in areas affected by terrorism."
She stressed that everyone should have a moral duty to support the victims of terrorism and ensure that they are treated with sympathy and respect for their dignity. When it comes to children, their rights must be respected and their best interests must be a priority by all means, and their livelihood should not be neglected for reasons of national security.
She noted that when victims of terrorism face additional challenges as a result of factors such as a global pandemic, "we must identify these challenges in order to be taken into account in the context of providing support to victims of terrorism, and perhaps the first of these challenges is that the Covid-19 pandemic which has become a top priority and it became the main concern of all."
On August 21, 2020, the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism will be marked, providing an opportunity to renew this momentum and undertake activities at various levels to renew the firm commitment to strengthening international co-operation to prevent and combat terrorism, honour and support its victims and survivors, and promote and protect their full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Sheikha Alya stressed that countries and the United Nations have an important role in supporting the victims of terrorism through their programmes.
It is a pleasure that one of the areas on which the distinguished partnership between Qatar and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism focuses is the area of providing support to victims of terrorism, as this is considered a strategic priority to the Office of Counter-Terrorism that benefits from the financial support provided by Qatar to support the office's programmes.
She praised the efforts of the office's "Victims of Terrorism Unit" in providing continuous and effective support to victims of terrorism, keeping abreast of emergency changes, and updating the website of the "UN Victims of Terrorism Support Portal" so that victims and others can benefit from them in obtaining useful information and resources in this field, expressing aspiration to work with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism to support its future plans in this important area.
Concluding, HE Sheikha Alya expressed solidarity with the victims of terrorism, adding they need all forms of solidarity on a sustainable basis during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.