The Need for an Effective Strategy to Counter Terrorism

  • 24 May 2015

The terrorist attack that targeted innocent civilian worshipers in a mosque in Qatif, Saudi Arabia, on Friday was strongly condemned by the UAE and governments around the world. There is no doubt that this is another reminder of the growing need for a common vision and a clear strategy to confront the threat of terrorism. The UAE has repeatedly appealed to the Arab governments and the international community to adopt this approach in order to help the world get rid of the scourge of terrorism forever.

The UAE’s warnings accurately describe the growing threat of this phenomenon and its implications on international peace and security. On March 10, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (may God protect him), called for cooperation to build an effective Arab strategy to tackle this threat. The UAE’s Foreign Ministry expressed similar views at the United Nations and international conferences such as NATO Summit in Wales, UK, in September 2014, while the ECSSR has organized conferences, seminars and lectures on the subject. The symposium – The Mirage: Enlightened Thought in Countering Terrorism – organized on Tuesday, and the lecture – The GCC and Arab National Security: Roles and Challenges – on May13, have been the most recent examples.

Most governments, international bodies and civil society organizations have acknowledged these repeated calls for a regional and international strategy to address the challenge of terrorism, and to bring its perpetrators to book. It is now obvious that the idea behind developing a common vision and defining an integrated strategy to counter terrorism, human rights violations and trans-border extremism cannot be deferred further. A broad agreement already exists on the need for a strategy, which requires formulating a common security apparatus and building regional and international cooperation to dry out sources of funding for terror networks.

There is also need to build a firm intellectual foundation to counter the propaganda element and extremist ideologies of terrorists, particularly their attempts to lure common people in the region and around the world, the West in particular. This is based on the realization of the important role human and intellectual development play in tackling this threat, which is leading to the loss of hundreds of innocent lives of children, women and the elderly. Acts of terrorism are taking place every day in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan and North Africa and their aftereffects are being felt by millions being displaced from their homes.

There is need for a collective, effective and urgent move towards regional and international humanitarian efforts sponsored by the United Nations – such as commitment to implementing the Security Council Resolution 2170 (15 August 2014) – which is dedicated towards tackling the threats to international peace and security owing to acts of terrorism. The need for collective action is more important today than ever before and cannot be deferred. This is extremely important for world peace, for preventing religions from being hijacked by extremist elements and for establishing the foundations of coexistence between people of various cultures and civilizations.