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Source: United Nations (Video News)

Virtual Briefing by Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the Office of Counter-Terrorism, on ‘Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts’: Linkage of Counterterrorism and transnational organized crime, during the Security Council Open VTC.

He said, “we are yet to fully understand the impact and consequences of the pandemic on global peace and security, and more specifically on organized crime and terrorism.”

Voronkov continued, “we know that terrorists are exploiting the significant disruption and economic hardships caused by COVID-19 to spread fear, hate and division and radicalize and recruit new followers, adding that “the increase in internet usage and cybercrime during the pandemic further compounds the problem.”

The Under-Secretary-General also noted that Member States are rightly focused on tackling the health emergency and human crisis caused by COVID-19. But we must not forget or be complacent about the continuing threat of terrorism.

Voronkov explained, “in many parts of the world, terrorists are exploiting local grievances and poor governance to regroup and assert their control. The pandemic has the potential to act as a catalyst in the spread of terrorism and violent extremism by exacerbating inequalities, undermining social cohesion and fueling local conflicts.”

He reiterated that the world “must continue our fight against terrorist groups and criminal networks to deny them the opportunity to exploit the COVID-19 crisis. Collective action and international cooperation are needed now more than ever.”

The report was prepared by UNODC and OCT in response to the request contained in Security Council resolution 2482. It reflects the contributions of 50 Member States and 15 Global Compact entities, and benefitted from valuable UN system inputs, including from the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team.

The report provides an overview of measures taken by Member States and UN entities to address linkages between terrorism and organized crime, as well as recommendations for action going forward.