Ms. Michele Coninsx UN Assistant Secretary General Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), Vladimir Voronkov UN UnderSecretary General Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN Vice President, Abubakar Malami SAN Minister of Justice & Attorney-General during a courtesy visit of United Nations high-level delegation on Counter-Terrorism to Nigeria in the Office of the Vice President. State House Abuja. Wed. 25 July, 2018.
A team of the United Nations Officials led by the Under Secretary-General of the UN Office of Counter Terrorism Mr. Vladimir Voronkov and the Assistant Secretary-General of Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), Ms. Michele CONINSX, visited Nigeria from 23- 26 July 2018. The essence of the visit was to assess progress made by Nigeria in her current counter terrorism efforts in accordance with existing capacities, and also raise awareness within the diplomatic and donor community in Nigeria, in support of comprehensive, balanced and sustainable efforts by the Government to implement the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and relevant Security Council resolutions. The visit was conducted within the framework of Security Council Resolution 2395 (2017), which tasks the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate and the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism to work closely within their respective mandates to ensure the balanced implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
While receiving the UN delegates in his office on Tuesday 24 July, 2018, the National Security Adviser (NSA) Major General Babagana Mohammed Monguno (rtd.) appreciated the partnership between Nigerian Government and the UN Counter Terrorism bodies. He stressed that Nigeria is always prepared to work with the UN on any effort aimed at countering terrorism and violent extremism.
The visit provided an opportunity to highlight Nigeria’s effort at combating terrorism and insurgency in the country. It also created avenue to discuss areas for further collaboration and support from UN entities including sustained capacity building in Criminal Justice Responses to terrorism; border security, especially technologically-driven border management; public awareness and strategic communication in support of Government implementation of the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) and the Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism(PCVE). Nigeria also informed the UN team on the need for donor procurement in support of Nigeria’s effort in the restoration of the North East due to the devastation caused by Boko Haram menace.
In his remarks, the Under Secretary-General of the UN Office of Counter Terrorism, thanked the National Security Adviser for the warm reception accorded members of his team and the detailed brief on Nigeria’s current counter terrorism efforts. He noted that UN recognized Nigeria as one of the leading countries in Africa in Counter Terrorism/Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism. He stated that UN is prepared to collaborate with the country to enhance its current efforts.
On her part, the Assistant Secretary –General of Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) stated the need to recognized the inherent humanitarian challenges associated with combating terrorism. She emphasized therefore the need to identify gaps in the current fight against terrorism in the country, particularly in the area of support for victims of terrorism, such as rehabilitation and reintegration. She also highlighted other challenges relating to countering narratives of terrorists, problems associated with the exploitation of the social media by terrorists as well as terrorism financing.
The team rounded off their four-day visit to the country with a courtesy call on the Vice- President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday 25th July, 2018. The visit of UN High level CT team is expected to produce outcomes which will serve as foundation for future efforts to deliver technical assistance to Nigeria on countering terrorism and violent extremism.