Excellencies, dear colleagues and friends of Victims of Terrorism.
Let me begin by congratulating Afghanistan and Spain with this important initiative. You have given the international society a platform to support the victims of terrorism and to ensure their rights.
Let me also express my solidarity with all the victims of recent terrorist attacks carried out over the last few months. These acts leave deep wounds - both for victims and entire nations. Wounds that also Norway still live with, after the devastating terrorist attacks in 2011.
Despite the difficulty of the task, it is both a necessity and our responsibility as member states to support all victims of terrorism. To ensure their right to justice. And to meet them with compassion and respect as they return to everyday life.
Also, we must maintain the momentum on prevention; Women, youth and local communities play crucial roles. We need a whole of society approach, taking into account gender perspectives and the importance of consulting women and women’s organizations when developing victim’s assistance plans.
We believe that victims of terrorism can play an important role in preventing violent extremism and terrorism. One example is 25 year old Viljar Hanssen, who survived the terrorist attack in 2011 and who recently shared his story with us here at the UN at the last meeting of the Group of Friends on Preventing Violent Extremism.
One of Viljar’s key messages is that, in order to better address tomorrow’s challenges, we must learn from experience and learn from each other. I believe that the best way to do so is by bringing people together - like the Afghanistan and Spain has done in this group of friends of victims of terrorism. I look forward to share our experiences, as we together make this important commitment to support victims of terrorism all over the world - for a better, common future.