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We Cannot Address Terrorism, Security Challenges without Action on Development, Human Rights for All, Secretary-General Tells Central Asia Conference

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the Conference on Central Asia Cooperation and the United Nations Joint Plan of Action for the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and virtually today:

This Conference on Central Asian cooperation reminds us of the importance of uniting to counter terrorism — and realizing shared values like peace, human rights and social progress for all.

When people do not see these values reflected in their daily lives, division and extremism grow.  Poverty, violence and insecurity create fertile soil for terror to take root and spread.  The unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is one tragic example.

The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy has pioneered comprehensive, integrated and principled efforts to tackle security challenges of the twenty-first century.  I commend Member States in Central Asia for having adopted the first regional counter-terrorism strategy, the Joint Plan of Action, 10 years ago.  And for their close cooperation with the United Nations to bring it to life across all phases of the Joint Plan of Action project.  This includes anchoring efforts in the rule of law and human rights — and protecting and advancing the rights of women and young people.

My new Agenda for Peace — proposed in my report on Our Common Agenda — recognizes that we cannot address terrorism and security challenges in the absence of concerted action on development and human rights for all people.  We need societies defined by mutual trust, hope and respect for human rights.  Not fear, mistrust and terror.

As you continue implementing your Joint Plan of Action, let’s keep working to help deliver the security, prosperity and hope that every person across Central Asia deserves.

For information media. Not an official record.