Guterres warns that strategic use of data is essential against terrorism

Archive – United Nations Secretary General António Guterres – AAPIMAGE / DPA

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Wednesday that the world is «one step behind» in the collection, analysis and strategic use of data to combat terrorism.

«We need to put data-driven tools and strategies at the center of our approach to building peace and security, including counterterrorism efforts,» he said during his speech at the ninth meeting of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact.

Guterres also noted that counter-terrorism strategies need to «reflect a wide range of voices» while stressing that the fight against terror «must never be used as an excuse to trample on people’s human rights».

«While terrorists and criminals often pursue different agendas and strategies, both feed on crimes such as drug smuggling, human trafficking and illicit financing. Our counter-terrorism responses must be one step ahead,» said Guterres.

He said that the use of data «is necessary to assess the effectiveness of terrorism prevention activities and policies, especially to ensure that human rights are respected at all times.

«Terrorism finds its home in voids: a void of security, of effective political and civic institutions, of opportunity and hope. A vacuum of respect for Human Rights, equality and dignity, especially for minorities and women and girls,» he stressed in his speech.

Finally, the Secretary General dedicated a few words to the victims of terrorism, assuring that it is necessary to remember those injured and displaced by this cause, as well as to maintain the needs of the victims.