OSCE parliamentarians call for increased support to victims of terrorism at high-level conference in Rome

080622 CT conferenceReinhold Lopatka addresses opening of counter-terrorism conference in Rome, 7 June 2022ROME, 8 June 2022 – Members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism (CCT) have been in Italy this week to participate in the High-Level Conference on Parliamentary Support to Victims of Terrorism held on 7-8 June in Rome.

The conference, organized by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), served as a platform for parliamentarians to provide a contribution to the global efforts in counter-terrorism and prevention of violent extremism, with the objective of identifying ways to address the rights and needs of victims of terrorism, and was joined by 100-plus participants.

The OSCE PA delegation included Vice-President and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism Reinhold Lopatka (Austria), Vice-Chair of the Committee Kamil Aydin (Turkey), Vice-President and Committee member Pia Kauma (Finland) and Committee member and Head of Delegation Tsogtbaatar Damdin (Mongolia).

“While developing our strategies and programmes, we should also realize that survivors of terror attacks play a key role in countering extremist violence,” said Lopatka in his opening remarks. “First of all, they contribute to fighting the impunity of terrorist and extremist groups during the investigations. In addition, victims are extremely powerful and credible messengers. Their experiences put a human face on the impact of terrorism and help to counter the warped narratives of terrorists and violent extremists.”

During the conference parliamentarians, representatives of UN bodies, leading experts, victims of terrorist attacks and victims’ associations, discussed the recent UN model legislative provisions to support and protect the rights and needs of victims of terrorism. The need to ensure memory, dignity and justice to all victims was repeatedly stressed.

In her speech, Pia Kauma highlighted the work done by the CCT to enhance parliamentary response in supporting victims of terrorism. She also introduced the draft Resolution on Victims of Terrorism that will be discussed at the upcoming OSCE PA’s Annual Session. “The resolution calls upon OSCE participating States to adopt comprehensive assistance plans and to establish a permanent co-ordination body for victims of terrorism,” she said. “We truly hope that this resolution will further the international counter-terrorism framework, providing clear guidance and heightened standards for our participating States in supporting and upholding the rights of victims.”

“We must promote the role of civil society groups and organizations in complementing state and parliamentary efforts in supporting victims of terrorism and ensuring access to justice,” said Kamil Aydin in his closing remarks. “Let us not forget that parliamentarians not only hold the power of legislation, but of oversight as well. It is, therefore, up to us to make sure that our laws and policies promote the rights of the victims in countering terrorism.”

During their visit to Italy, the delegation also met Adolfo Urso, President of the Parliamentary Committee for the Security of the Republic (COPASIR); Alberto Pagani, Member of the Defence Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, and Andrea Orsini, President of the Permanent Committee on Foreign Policy and External Relations of the European Union of the Foregin Affairs Commission of the Chamber of Deputies; Andrea Demaria, first signatory of the amendments to the 2006 bill on benefits for victims of terrorism; Eugenio Rodolfo Spina, Director of the Service to contrast internal terrorism of the Polizia di Stato; and Marco Rosi, Commander of the Antiterrorism Department of the Carabinieri Special Operations Group.

The delegation learned about the Italian counter-terrorism strategy and legislation, including the recent measures adopted to prevent radicalization. Prevention was identified as the key measure, with recent efforts focusing on combating cyber terrorism and online radicalization, as new and pressing threats. Concerns around the war in Ukraine were also raised, and how the resulting instability could stimulate local crises, creating conditions for radicalization.

On 10 June, the UNOCT Counter-Terrorism events continue, as CCT Chair Reinhold Lopatka travels to Naples, to participate in the second Co-ordination Meeting among Parliamentary Assemblies on Counter-Terrorism Matters.

For more information on the OSCE PA's Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism, please click here.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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