Madrid conferenceMakis Voridis addresses the opening session of the Madrid conference, 15 Nov. 2018.MADRID, 15 November 2018 – Terrorism is a transnational threat that requires a concerted multilateral response at global, regional and national levels, said Greek parliamentarian Makis Voridis, Chair of the OSCE PA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism (CCT), at a conference in Madrid today. At the same time, the tragic human cost of terrorism must remain at the forefront of policy-making discussions, he said.

“We must never forget the tens of thousands of people who have been injured, traumatized or lost their lives during terrorist attacks,” said Voridis. He emphasized that the extreme sacrifice of the victims has empowered countries to become more resilient against the terrorist threat.

“Our society owes a debt to the victims of terrorism and we should do whatever it takes to render them justice and dignity for what they have suffered, including through adequate compensation,” he said.

Voridis was speaking at the opening session of the Conference on Victims of Terrorism in the Sphere of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, hosted by the Spanish Senate. The conference is taking place Thursday and Friday in the Spanish capital.

CCT member Ignacio Cosidó Gutiérrez, Head of the Spanish Delegation to the OSCE PA Pere Joan Pons, and Vice-Chair of the Spanish Senate Pedro María Sanz Alonso are also participating in the conference, along with several other members of the PA.

In his opening remarks, Cosidó Gutiérrez said that terrorism has generated much suffering and cut short many lives and dreams in Spain and other countries. But fighting terrorism has made Spanish society stronger and more united in defence of democracy and freedom, he said.

Madrid ceremony 151118Paying tribute to the victims of terrorism before the Spanish Senate in Madrid, 15 Nov. 2018.He added that the defeat of ETA terrorism in Spain would never have been possible without placing the victims at the center of counter-terrorism policies and decision-making.

The two-day conference is exploring topics such as increasing support to victims of terrorism in Spain, victims of terrorism in the sphere of the OSCE, and the Spanish experience in the fight against terrorism.

Representatives of victims are sharing experiences of suffering terrorist attacks and discussing their personal situations and their experiences with authorities and public administrations. Security experts from police corps are also participating, explaining how their departments manage the fight against terrorism, the problems they face, the way they confront threats, and how they organize their actions and institutions.

Participants have emphasized that survivors of terror attacks require long-term support with adequate psychological, judicial, legal and social assistance in order to cope with the trauma and carry on with their lives. Greater investment in the rehabilitation and reintegration of victims helps to build more resilient and inclusive societies is also needed, they said.