UN VIRTUAL COUNTER TERRORISM WEEK

Published on: February 22, 2021

Fiji is currently participating in the United Nations Counter-Terrorism (UNCT) Week that is organized and facilitated by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT). The UNCT Week was virtually hosted from the United Nations headquarters in New York with Member States joining in from around the world.
The UNCT week runs from the 6th to 10th of July 2020, consisting of a series of webinars and interactive discussion sessions focusing on how the Covid-19 Pandemic impacts on terrorism. The series of webinars was officially opened by the UN Secretary General António Guterres. In his opening remarks, Secretary General Guterres set the platform for the virtual conference stating
“…The (Covid-19) pandemic has highlighted vulnerabilities to new and emerging forms of terrorism, such as misuse of digital technology, cyberattacks and bioterrorism.
Like the virus, terrorism does not respect national borders, and can only be defeated collectively…”
The Fijian Delegation consists of the Permanent Secretary for Defence, National Security and Policing Mr. Manasa Lesuma who is the Head of Delegation, Chief of Staff RFMF CAPT (N) John Fox and Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr Rusiate Tudravu.
Fiji’s Head of Delegation delivered a statement on Thursday morning 9th July 2020 (Wednesday 9th July 2020 NY time). In his address, Mr. Lesuma congratulated the UNOCT for successfully organising the virtual week despite the current pandemic. He also stated that “Fiji recognizes the shifting international security and peace landscape, particularly in the Pacific region and (that) we are cognizant of the fact that Fiji and the Pacific are not immune to the any and all acts of Terrorism and Violent Extremism”
Furthermore, Mr Lesuma stated that we are blessed to have not encountered any form of terrorism or counter terrorism thus resulting in Fiji having to deal with its victims. Nonetheless, Fiji stands ready to plan ahead to ensure we have victim support programmes in place should we be faced with the untimely incident within our territory.

Moreover, Mr. Lesuma also recognized the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly to the terrorism front. He also stressed the importance of multilateralism and international cooperation to combating both COVID-19 and Terrorism stating that “the nature of the problem is global and as such the nature of the response must also be global”.
The UNCT week will formally conclude on Saturday morning 12th July 2020 FJ time.

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