International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism - Seeker's Thoughts

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International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism

United Nations General Assembly resolution 72/165 (2017) established the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to Victims of Terrorism to honor victims and survivors of terrorist acts as well as promote and protect their full enjoyment of human rights.

The resolution applauds the first Global Congress of Victims of Terrorism and seeks to amplify their voices while providing assistance & support. Furthermore, it urges UN system to make more efforts towards upholding victims' dignity.

Observed by the United Nations

Terrorism has an immense and tragic impact on communities worldwide, from loss of life and damaged infrastructure, to disrupted livelihoods and lost sense of security for entire populations. The UN remains dedicated to an end of global terrorism while offering support and solidarity for victims and survivors - in 2017 the General Assembly designated 21 August as International Remembrance and Tribute to Victims of Terrorism Day so we may honour those impacted and promote/protect fundamental freedoms and human rights of survivors, victims, survivors and their families alike.

At this year's Global Congress, UNOCT showcased their "Memories" campaignOpens a new window. This campaign highlights victims' stories through objects that hold special meaning for them as they rebuild their lives after experiencing trauma or violence. Furthermore, this initiative emphasizes the necessity of supporting and aiding victims as they work on healing themselves from such tragedies.

UNOCT organized a high-level prerecorded event entitled, "Surviving Terrorism: The Power of Memories", broadcast online through UN Web TV and featuring remarks by the Secretary-General, Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism, Co-Chairs of Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism Co-Chairs as well as survivors themselves.

Terrorism is an ideology of violent extremism that does not target only one group or religion. It requires global cooperation to end, so the UN is appealing to everyone to join this effort by remembering those affected by terrorist acts, contributing to humanitarian organizations that assist victims, and spreading tolerance and understanding as part of its campaign against this global issue.

Theme for 2022 is “Memories”

The International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to Victims of Terrorism, held annually on August 21st by the UN, serves to remember those affected by terrorist acts and to encourage individuals and societies alike to take steps towards helping victims of terror attacks. It also serves to raise awareness for such actions which threaten global peace. This day of observance takes place each year on this date.

Remembering those killed by terrorist attacks and providing support to them and their families is of utmost importance. Additionally, public education about how to avoid becoming victims of terrorism will help lower victim numbers significantly.

Remembering those killed by terrorism is of course important, but remembering those affected by it also demands our recognition and support from communities worldwide. The UN has created tools such as the International Victims Support Portal which provide much-needed aid and advice for victims affected by terrorist acts.

On this International Human Rights Day, Fionnuala Ni Aolain, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights while countering terrorism, issued a statement calling upon governments to adopt a human rights-based approach and go beyond mere words of comfort and acknowledgement to treating victims as autonomous rights-bearers while guaranteeing they receive all of their rights.

Dedicated to the memory of victims of terrorism

Even without the tools necessary to prevent terrorist attacks, individuals can do their part by working toward understanding people from other cultures - this can help decrease tension that leads to terrorist acts. Furthermore, people can observe this day to remember those who have lost their lives due to terrorist acts as well as donate to humanitarian organizations that assist victims of terrorism.

Surviving a terrorist attack has lasting psychological, emotional and financial repercussions for victims. While they may often go ignored or forgotten about, victims need assistance in order to heal and have their rights respected - it is vital that perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these heinous acts be brought to justice for violating human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The United Nations has organized a special day to remember and honor victims of terrorism and help them recover. Events held this day include lectures, photo exhibitions and memorial services; in addition a virtual high-level event will highlight the power of memories via UN Web TV with panel discussions featuring survivors of terror acts as well as representatives from victim organizations as well as the Director of National Center for Victims of Terrorism.

Observed on August 21

Terrorist attacks are devastating events with far-reaching repercussions for survivors, often forcing them to say goodbye to loved ones while needing medical and financial support. Yet often those left behind feel neglected and forgotten after initial shock has worn off; their needs often go unmet due to lacking resources necessary for rehabilitation. That is why the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to Victims of Terrorism was established to show these victims they are not forgotten.

This year, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), together with its Member Organizations' Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism and UNCCT is marking the fifth anniversary of International Day of Remembrance and Tribute by hosting a high-level event centered around "Memories". At this event, survivors will share their stories about living through terror attacks while participants share experiences coping with trauma as well as discuss community support services.

This event will highlight initiatives and efforts to meet the needs of victims, including partnerships between civil society groups and government agencies, and initiatives by victims themselves. Following these presentations will be a moment of silence and dedication to them; additionally, 9/11 Memorial & Museum will honor victims through placing tributes at its Survivor Tree. For more information about this year's event please visit its official website.

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