UN counter-terrorism chief Vladimir Voronkov has warned that terrorists are becoming increasingly innovative in a world shaken by the coronavirus pandemic in spite of “significant progress” in the fight against terrorism. Voronkov, head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT), concluded the Second High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism on Wednesday at the UN headquarters in New York by summing up four of the strategic challenges facing the world at the moment. He underscored the need for “inclusive, forward-looking, evidence-based approaches to build resilience”, in the face of the ISIL legacy in Iraq and Syria; terrorist threats in Africa; tackling transnational risks sparked by various forms of intolerance; and the need to upgrade technology and know-how to counter the scourge. Deliberations over the last few days have advanced the Secretary-General’s vision “to promote a networked global counter-terrorism respons”, Voronkov said. However, he added, while preparing for tomorrow’s threats, we also need to change traditional tactics. Noting that hate speech has become “pervasive and self-reinforcing through algorithms and online echo chambers”, he said that countering the spread of terrorist content online “remains high on the agenda.” Upholding the rule of law and human rights is imperative for successful counter-terrorism efforts, he said. “We must preserve and defend these fundamental values and operating principles while we work together to prevent terrorists’ efforts to destabilize our Governments and societies, stressed the counter-terrorism chief, saying that his office would integrate gender and human rights policies into all of its programming. He also maintained the need to continue efforts to deliver tailored, cost-effective capacity-building measures to sustain impact, including through UN field-based programmes. As many Member States continue to face severe capacity challenges in battling terrorism, Mr. Voronkov pointed out that new technologies are adding “a layer of complexity.” He maintained that solidarity is in everyone’s common interest and that the international community cannot afford to leave any country behind. “It is clear that a terrorist safe haven anywhere is a threat everywhere”, spelled out the OCT chief. As the Organization readies itself to mark the 15th anniversary of the UN Global Counter-terrorism Strategy to enhance national, regional and international efforts, the UN official said, “We should take comfort that this Counter-Terrorism Week has reinvigorated support for multilateralism.” He described some “path-breaking” outcomes to be included in an upcoming resolution, which included countering the use of new technologies for terrorist purposes; tackling attacks based on racism and other forms of intolerance; and repatriating, reintegrating and rehabilitating children with links to foreign terrorist fighters.