In a speech at the second ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism held on Thursday, an initiative launched by the United Nations last year, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry reviewed Egypt’s efforts to fight terrorism and care for its victims and their families.
“As a nation at the forefront of the fight against terrorism, Egypt fully understands the suffering of victims of terrorism and their families, and has thus been a staunch supporter of all efforts to promote and protect their rights,” Shoukry said during the virtual meeting, adding that such efforts are a “top priority” for the country’s counterterrorism agenda.
Shoukry also mentioned Egypt’s effort to “address the plight” of terrorism victims and their families at the national level by establishing specialised institutions and funds to address their needs, enable them to benefit from financial compensation, pensions, as well as free healthcare, education and public transportation.
“Psychologically, rehabilitation services for the families of victims are also provided through targeted resilience building programs as well as other programs to better equip the victims of terrorism and their families for the evolving and growing job market in Egypt,” he added.
Shoukry also reviewed the state’s efforts to counter extremism that can lead to terrorism, including by utilising social media and mobile apps to spread tolerance and social and cultural values and help prevent radicalisation.
The Egyptian minister voiced support for the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism, and said that this meeting sends a “clear signal” about the member countries’ determination to ensure that victims of terrorism and their families “are not forgotten” and that they continue to receive the necessary support in these hard times.
The minister said that the world has been concerned this year with containing the implications of the coronavirus pandemic, but terrorist groups “have wasted no effort trying to take advantage of this global situation.”
He also thanked Afghanistan and Spain for leading the group and organising the meeting.
The Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism aims to give a voice to victims of terrorism at the international level, promote the need to support them and their families and provide them with the necessary support.
It includes 24 member states as well as two regional organisations, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
The group is led by Afghanistan and Spain and has the Arab countries of Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco, Qatar and United Arab Emirates as well as the African countries of Kenya and Nigeria as members.
The European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation are also members.