Budapest will be home to the UN’s regional counter-terrorism office

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“The regional program support office of the United National Organisation’s Office of Counter-Terrorism will be in Budapest”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced on Thursday in the Hungarian capital.


Szijjártó gave a speech at the opening of an English-language conference entitled: “Racialisation that Leads to Terrorism: Regional Political Responses and Risk Reduction”. The event was jointly organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the UN’s Office of Counter-Terrorism, with the support of the Ministry of Defence.

The Minister also held a press conference prior to the meeting, at which he said: “The regional offices of several specialised UN organisations are already operating in Hungary”. “

“The regional coordination of the fight against terrorism will take place in the new office”, he stated, declaring that “Hungary is an active and successful participant in the international community’s fight against terrorism”. Szijjártó said that in his opinion this has been acknowledged by the UN with the fact that one of the stops of the series of regional meetings leading up to the global counter-terrorism conference in New York next year is being held in Budapest.

“Hungary is not only talking about the importance of continuing the fight against terrorism, but is also taking action in its interests: two hundred Hungarian soldiers are fighting under the colours of the Global Coalition against ISIS in Iraq. Hungarian units are also serving in Mali, the Western Balkans and Afghanistan, and will soon also be contributing to restoring and maintaining security in Lebanon”, Szijjártó said.

“The international community should no longer be concerned with ‘inspiring’ more waves of migration, but with creating secure living conditions for everyone who has been forced to leave their homes”, he highlighted.

According to the Minister, it has been proven that waves of mass, illegal migration are creating an opportunity for terrorists to send their fighters all over the world. “For precisely this reason, stopping migration processes of this nature is a significant tool for reducing terrorism”, he added.

In his speech at the conference, Szijjártó said that in recent years the international community has achieved major success in the fight against terrorism, but it would be a mistake to regard the battle as being over. “The battle against radicalisation and senseless killing must continue”, he declared, pointing out that terrorist attacks are becoming increasingly violent and barbaric. “Last year, over 15 thousand innocent civilians lost their lives in some 9500 terrorist attacks worldwide. The phenomenon is also becoming an increasingly regular occurrence in Europe, and the majority of terrorists come from migrant backgrounds”, he stated.

“Hungary has spent 40 million dollars on assisting Middle Eastern Christian communities to date, and has taken part in the reconstruction of schools and hospitals to enable those affected to return home”, Szijjártó indicated.

At the conference, UN Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov said every form of terrorism represents a major global challenge, and its goal is to tear apart the “social fabric” of humanity. “Terrorism is endangering the stability of whole regions. In view of its cross-border character, joint action must be taken against terrorism”, he declared.

Bosnian Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak also said that in his opinion action against terrorism and extremism required close cooperation. President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IU) Gabriela Cuevas Barron said: “We must find the answer to the question: how does somebody become a terrorist?”, adding that many young people from Western countries joined the Islamic State terrorist organisation. In analysis of the reasons for this, she said that in her opinion “It is certain that we too are making mistakes”.

At the conference, Szijjártó and Vladimir Voronkov concluded an agreement on setting up the regional program support office of the United National Organisation’s Office of Counter-Terrorism in Budapest.

The conference is of the events in a series of conferences in preparation for the second biennial “high level counter-terrorism week” announced on 28 June 2018 by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, be held in June 2020 in New York.

Those invited to attend the conference include some 130 experts, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and representatives of the countries of the European Economic Area, as well as the representatives of major international organisations such as the UN, the EU, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and NATO.

Al three sections of the conference particularly involve the Western Balkans. The first deals with strategies to prevent terrorism, the second with security risks associated with the return home of foreign terrorist fighters, and the third concerns the involvement of young people in action against violent extremism.





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