UNITED NATIONS - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday called for a focus on conditions that feed terrorism as part of a comprehensive strategy against the scourge, as he spoke in a Pakistan-sponsored Security Council debate that included several high-level national officials. “Terrorism festers where conflicts are endemic … and where human rights, human dignity and human life are not protected and impunity prevails,” Ban said in the meeting chaired by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar of Pakistan, which holds the January Presidency of the 15-member body.

Making it clear that no grievances can ever justify terrorism, the Secretary-General underlined the connection between security and development, the need for dialogue and understanding and the importance of information technology in countering messages of hate and radicalisation. “We have to drown out shrill appeals to intolerance and extremism with sound calls for compassion and moderation,” he said, adding: “We have to replace the terrorist narrative with messages of peace, development and human welfare.” Ban said that the past year saw solid progress in international solidarity against terrorism, noting that in June the General Assembly reaffirmed the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, strengthening resolve to support victims of attacks and renewing commitments to a comprehensive approach to terrorism grounded in respect for human rights and the rule of law.