The National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, led the Nigerian Delegation to the New York as the United Nations held a special tribute ceremony to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The event which took place at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York, USA, today, was organized by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism on behalf of the United Nations.
Nigeria’s participation at the event reaffirmed the resolve of Government to explore all avenues including collaboration with the United Nations entities to end the challenges of Terrorism, particularly at the home front and the world at large.
The NSA was accompanied to the event by Rear Admiral YEM Musa, Coordinator, Counter Terrorism Centre (CTC), Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and High level officials of the Nigerian Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, among other dignitaries.
The commemoration demonstrated the United Nations’ commitment to never forget the nearly 3,000 people from over 90 countries whose lives were taken that day, and the thousands more that were injured or sickened.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Alice M. Greenwald, President and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, said, “for many, the Memorial is seen as the place where the 21st century began. The attacks of September 11, 2001 may have happened here in the United States, but in truth, 9/11 was a global moment. The 2,977 individuals killed as a result of those attacks represented over 90 nations. They were a microcosm of the world. Your presence here is a powerful demonstration of global solidarity with the victims of 9/11 and their families, indeed with all victims of terrorism. Standing here today, you affirm the imperative of remembrance and underscore the obligation of our shared humanity – recognizing that the human impacts of terrorism and extreme violence are universal and collectively acknowledging the absolute illegitimacy of terrorism as a response to political grievance.”
The event was attended by more than 300 participants, including Heads of States, Ministers and Delegations representing more than 120 Member States and international organizations who have gathered in New York for the opening of the 76th UN General Assembly.
On behalf of Secretary-General António Guterres, Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, highlighted the significance of this event. “We have gathered from all over the world on this sacred ground in the host city of the United Nations to pay tribute to the victims and survivors of the terrible attacks that occurred here just over twenty years ago,” he said. He reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations to continue to place victims at the heart of the global counter-terrorism efforts, to speak for those who can no longer speak and to amplify the voices of survivors. “We will continue to stand in solidarity with all victims of terrorism. They will not be forgotten. No day shall erase them from the memory of time”.
H.E. Mr. José Manuel Albares, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation of Spain in his capacity as co-Chair of the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism expressed to grieving families the Group of Friends’ deepest sympathy and solidarity, as well as solidarity with the people of New York City, the United States of America, and all victims around the world that have suffered at the hands of terrorists. “Let us restate our commitment towards our common collaboration to fight against terrorism, and in favor of the victims, their needs and their rights. We owe it to them,” he added.
The ceremony included a minute of silence and concluded with Under-Secretary-General Voronkov and Foreign Minister Albares laying wreaths in memory of victims of the September 11 attacks, and all victims of terrorism worldwide.
Through this event, the United Nations has furhter shown its commitment to support all victims of terrorism around the world, and to work together to uphold their rights and needs.
Head, Strategic Communication, Counter Terrorism Centre, ONSA