China dedicated to int'l cooperation against terrorism: UN chief

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-17 06:33:05|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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LONDON, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday highlighted China's efforts in combating terrorism, encouraging China to continue its role in international cooperation against terrorism.

"China is dedicated in United Nations to international cooperation against terrorism, I strongly encourage China to go on play that role," Guterres made the remarks in London when answering a question from Xinhua after he gave a lecture on counter-terrorism and human rights at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London.

Guterres stressed the need for much stronger international cooperation in terms of counter-terrorism. He announced in his speech that he intends to convene the first-ever UN summit of heads of counter-terrorism agencies next year to forge new partnerships and build relationships of trust.

The UN chief also underlined the "urgent need" for governments and security agencies to collaborate more effectively in fighting terror.

He called on UN Member States to increase international efforts to address terror financing, and improve information exchange among security services.

"I heard this message loud and clear. During the high-level week of my first General Assembly in September, 152 leaders - 80 percent of all Members of the United Nations - highlighted the need to step up the exchange of information," he said.

Noting that at least 11,000 terrorist attacks occurred in more than 100 countries last year, Guterres warned that terrorism had become "an unprecedented threat to international peace, security and development."

"Terrorism has been unfortunately with us in various forms across ages and continents. But modern terrorism is being waged on an entirely different scale, and notably its geographic span. No country can claim to be immune," he said.

But he pointed out that developing countries suffered the most despite the truth that terror attacks in the west drew more spotlight.

"Although the spotlight tends to focus on terrorism in the west, we should never forget that the vast majority of terrorist attacks take place in developing countries," he said.

Indicating that nearly three-quarters of all deaths caused by terrorism were in just five states, namely Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria and Somalia, Guterres said economic impact of terrorism is also huge.

In 2015, terrorism costs amounted to 17.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in Iraq and 16.8 percent in Afghanistan. The global economic impact of terrorism is estimated to have reached 90 billion U.S. dollars that year.

As for the ways to eradicate terrorism, the UN chief believes military operations alone will not be enough despite the recent successes in fighting the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq.

"It would be false promises to assume that military operations alone will eradicate terrorism. Technology still enables terrorist groups to reach disenfranchised people everywhere in the world, and impress on them. That is why a smart and comprehensive counter-terrorism global strategy addressing root causes of violent extremism is all too vital," he said.

He emphasized the importance of education and youth to tackle terrorism to conclude his speech, urging young people to become clear-thinking and enlightened citizens.