A documentary film about Zhusan operation and a video address by one of the Kazakh women returned from Syria caused a lively response from participants in a visiting session of the UN member states.
The main objective of the event was to discuss mechanisms for coordinating joint efforts to effectively combat terrorism at the national, regional and global levels. There was an exchange of experience and concrete proposals on how sustainable development can help in the fight against terrorism.
Kazakh Ambassador Kairat Umarov spoke about practical steps taken by the Government in combating root causes of terrorism. He stressed the interdependence of security, counter-terrorism and development issues.
“Kazakhstan is making its specific contribution to resolving these issues by creating a pilot UN Interregional Center on Sustainable Development Goals for the countries of Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty”, he said.
Deputy UN Secretary-General, head of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office, Vladimir Voronkov, expressed his gratitude to Kazakhstan for its steadfast leadership and high commitment to the fight against terrorism. According to him, Kazakhstan’s initiative to adopt a Code of Conduct to achieve a world free of terrorism is a significant contribution to strengthening international cooperation in countering terrorism.
“The innovative element of the Code is to coordinate collective actions to combat this global evil through enhanced socio-economic development. Kazakhstan has become one of the few countries in the world that have evacuated their citizens from the conflict zone and is actively working to bring them back to normal life”, Voronkov stated.
Especially for this meeting, one of the Kazakhstani women returned from Syria as part of the Zhusan operation, recorded a video message demonstrated to the participants of the event.
25-year-old Aida Sarina shared her memories of how she came to Syria and spoke about the difficult conditions of life among the militants. She expressed sincere thanks to the Government of Kazakhstan for the opportunity to return to the homeland.
“After the death of my husband, I was just struggling for survival. Falling asleep at night, I didn’t know if I and my child would wake up in the morning. We were trapped. We slept on the damp earth in the open air. Every day, children died in the arms of their mothers, and they were unable to help them”, A. Sarina said.
She remembered the moment when she saw life savers from Kazakhstan.
“When I saw rescuers from Kazakhstan, I realized that we were not abandoned. There were women from France, Germany and other countries next to me. I remember with what envy they looked at us and asked us to find out if Kazakhstan could take them, asked them to take at least their children out of Syria. Then I could not help these women in any way”, she recalled.
In her address, Aida Sarina also stated that she is ready to become a fighter against terrorism.
“I am a victim of terrorism. I want to become a fighter against terrorism, to be a part of this great goal and to contribute. I want to be the voice of all women victims of terrorism!”, the Kazakh woman said.
It was symbolic that on the same day, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution “Expanding International Cooperation to Assist Victims of Terrorism”, urging all Member States to develop comprehensive assistance plans for victims of terrorism, in accordance with national legislation and with a gender perspective.
The main speakers at the event were head of the UN Economic and Social Council, Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Inga Rhonda King, next Chairman of the UN General Assembly, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Chairman of the UN Counter-Terrorism Center and the Group of Countries Members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Counterterrorism at the United Nations, Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia Abdallah al-Muallimi, the Ambassadors of Afghanistan, Egypt, Uzbekistan and African Union.
In addition, during the event, Inga Rhonda King, on behalf of her country, signed the Code of Conduct for a Peace Free from Terrorism, initiated by First President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and thus Saint Vincent and the Grenadines joined the global counterterrorism coalition, which now numbers over 80 States of the world.
It should be noted that the event themed “Synergy among Developing Countries for a Peace Free from Terrorism and the Sustainable Development Agenda until 2030”, organized by the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the UN and the UN Counter-Terrorism Office in New York, was attended by over 100 representatives from 50 states and international organizations at the UN.
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