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Saudi Arabia donates $100 mn for a UN counter-terrorism centre

Ban Ki-moon welcomes donation from Saudi King and invites other UN member states to contribute to Counter-Terrorism Centre
UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Saudi FM Saud al-Faisal discuss UN Counter-Terrorism Centre on 3 June (AFP)

Saudi Arabia has donated $100 million for the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCTC) at a special event staged in the office of the UN Secretary-General at the organisation’s headquarters in New York on Wednesday.

“The goal is to help provide the tools, technologies and methods to confront and eliminate the threat of terrorism,” Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, said in presenting a check to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

The centre, Jubeir said, could work in collaboration with donor countries such as the United States that are willing to help with bilateral or regional assistance. President Obama has set assistance through regional partnerships as a primary US counter­terrorism strategy, reported the Washington Post.

UN’s chief Ban Ki-moon welcomed the generous donation by the Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, expressing deep gratitude for the money.

Ban noted he already personally thanked King Abdullah last month in Jeddah “for his leadership on this and so many other issues.” He said it included the previous Saudi contribution of $500 million to meet humanitarian needs in Iraq.  

Ban said he stood confident that the “timely contribution” by Saudi Arabia would make a real difference at national, regional and global levels.

“The Centre has supported 31 counter-terrorism projects around the world covering all four pillars of the United Nations global counter-terrorism strategy,” said Ban.

“I urge other member states to follow the example of Saudi Arabia by investing in the Centre’s efforts,” he added.

Among the other major contributors to UN Counter Terrorism Centre are the US, Germany and the UK.  

Ban said he expected the UN Counter Terrorism Centre to play “a significant role” together with 34 entities of the Counter Terrorism International Task Force “to more effectively mobilise UN counter-terrorism efforts in the world.

“The recent disturbing upsurge of terrorism in a number of countries and regions of the world, most dramatically demonstrated by the so-called ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq, underscores the challenges before us,” UN’s chief explained.

The UNCTC was launched in 2011 with an initial $10 million contribution by Saudi Arabia. It was envisioned by Saudi King Abdullah back in 2005.

Currently, the centre is guided by its Advisory Board and chaired by Saudi Arabia’s UN ambassador Abdallah Yahya Al-Mouallimi, who also attended the event. 

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