By Mohamed Khalil, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Albania.
In a new world that is faced by various challenges and global issues like the Climate Change, poverty, food security, gender equality, health, education and more, arise the new phenomenon of terrorism that threatened the peace and security worldwide, especially in the Middle East, winning new grounds everywhere, in place and number, targeting the stability of societies and terrorizing innocents regardless of their origin or orientation. The recent attacks in Egypt against the religious sites are a new dimension in the terrorist group’s strategy that is not related to the Islamic values of peace and coexistence. The terrorist attack on a mosque in the Northern Sinai village of Rawda, that took place last week, claimed unprecedented number of innocent lives (305 dead including children and 127 injured).
The Egyptian government is determined to continue its efforts in combating terrorism within an integrated approach that takes into consideration the following steps simultaneously:
The role of Egypt’s Al Azhar institution in promoting the moderate vision of Islam, fighting extremism and explaining the correct interpretation of some controversial topics.
Development of remote areas, especially in Northern Sinai and Upper Egypt, within a strategy that aims at establishing mega projects, improve their living conditions and the standards of life in health, education and job creation, in order to eradicate poverty and to create a new generation capable of achieving their inspirations and active in building their country, away from the extremist ideas that use the unemployed and the poverty of young people.
International efforts, within the United Nations and the concerned international specialized organizations, in raising the problem and proposing initiatives that would mobilize the international recognition of the phenomenon and the need to combat it. Within this context, Egypt submitted two draft resolutions at the United Nations, the first is “The effects of Terrorism on enjoyment of Human Rights”, and the second is “The effects of Terrorist acts against Religious Sites on the Culture of Peace”. Egypt believes that terrorism effects the full enjoyment of all forms of political, civil, economic, social and cultural human rights, which includes hindering development, destroying infrastructure and damaging tourism, as well as negatively effecting the flow of investments and disturbing economic growth, and it is the state’s responsibility in protecting individuals against terrorism and show solidarity with the victims and their families. Egypt will continue its efforts and coordination with friendly and brotherly countries to set a comprehensive international strategy to eradicate terrorism in all its shapes and forms in order to enforce international peace and security.
Implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy with its four pillars: addressing the conditions conductive to the spread of terrorism and extremism, building state’s capabilities, strengthening the UN role in combating terrorism and respecting the principles of international human rights law.
The need to talk and for mutual understanding of each other’s circumstances and cultures, as well as the importance of dialogue among all the stakeholders in analyzing the causes of extremism and terrorism, the solutions and the way forward. The International Youth Forum that was hosted by Egypt in November 2017 was an initiative within that approach. There is no doubt that investing in youth is an important element to become an effective asset and to be protected from falling victim to unemployment that leads to other problems like extremism, terrorism and illegal immigration.
Last but not least, the security approaches, through international cooperation and coordination in facing the terrorist group’s strategies, exchange of experiences and information and draining the source of funding. We count on the support of the international community in facing this phenomenon and in supporting the Egyptian capabilities in our fight through actions rather than words.
It’s a fight that Egypt is facing on behalf of the world, a fight we had to deal with for a better future for the new generations, bearing in mind that the stability of Egypt is a cornerstone for peace and stability in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.