ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Aug. 21, 2018, will mark the first “International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism,” the United Nations has announced.
According to a statement on the UN website, the special day is meant to allow victims of terrorism who “often feel forgotten and neglected” in the aftermath of a terrorist attack “to have their voices heard, have their needs supported, and their rights upheld.”
The International Day will recognize victims of terrorism in five UN Member States: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, and Syria.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians have lost their lives since the so-called Islamic State (IS) emerged in mid-2014 and overran large swaths of territory in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
Terrorism continues to plague the lives of Iraqis even after the country announced the military defeat of IS last December. In recent months, IS has continued to carry-out sporadic attacks in previously liberated parts of Iraq.
The extremist group’s emergence has also placed a significant burden on the Kurdistan Region which is a haven for over 1.4 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees fleeing IS from parts of Iraq and Syria.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) provides basic needs, shelter, and medical aid to the millions of victims affected by the IS war.
The UN says the first observance of the International Day of Remembrance of the Tribute to Victims of Terrorism “represents a major step forward” in bringing attention to victims “at the national, regional, and international levels.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he welcomes the decision by the General Assembly to establish the day of tribute to victims of terrorism.
“We must lift up the voices of victims and survivors of terrorist attacks, who consistently call for accountability and results,” Guterres stated.
“When we respect the human rights of victims and provide them with support and information, we reduce the lasting damage done by terrorists to individuals, communities, and societies.”