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The World Must Unite to Defeat Terrorism


Officers collect evidence following an extremist-motivated suicide bombing attack at a district police station in Indonesia.

The UN found a 320 percent increase in racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism, with new transnational links among groups.

The World Must Unite to Defeat Terrorism
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The global threat posed by terrorism is on the rise, and it is more widely dispersed than ever, according to the United Nations. It will take a renewed collective approach to defeat it.

“Last year, the world faced more than 8,000 terrorist incidents, across 65 countries, killing more than 23,000 people,” said U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland. “Recent attacks around the world – the bombing of a police station in Indonesia, the coup attempt in Germany, and hateful incidents here in our country – remind us that no country is safe from this threat, and it cannot be defeated by any of us alone or by any regional bloc. We must all work together.

"It is incumbent upon us to tackle these issues jointly – from the under- and ungoverned spaces susceptible to terrorist control, to the desperate conditions conducive to recruitment, to the sources of illicit financing, to the perverse ideologies spreading online and across borders,” she said.

One of the recent developments highlighted by the UN is a 320 percent increase in racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism, with new transnational links among groups.

“This ideology, rooted in perennial hate like xenophobia, racism, antisemitism, and all forms of bigotry, has found common cause online, with new members being recruited through various social media platforms, and fake and manipulated photos quickly spreading misinformation and hate,” said Under Secretary Nuland.

“It is therefore critical that we build on our shared capabilities to better detect, degrade, and respond to these new threats,” said Under Secretary Nuland. “To be truly effective, counterterrorism needs to be nested in a whole-of-government and whole-of-society effort.”

“We have to nurture good governance, respect for human rights, access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunity. We have to support governments and their ability to deliver for their citizens. That is key to breaking the cycle of violent extremism," she said. "That’s why we are focused on implementing the current, robust global counterterrorism framework, focused on a whole-of-society approach.”

All of our “shared goals are put at risk by the pervasive threat of terrorism,” said Under Secretary Nuland. “And the inverse is also true, if we can make progress against these goals, we drain the swamp where terrorism lives and thrives.”

“We urge the international community to unite to address the scourge of terrorism. … The consequences of failure must not be acceptable to any of us.”

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