Modern terrorism has become an unprecedented threat to peace and security, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Saturday during an African Union meeting in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
"Nothing justifies terrorism. No cause or grievance can ever excuse the indiscriminate targeting of civilians, the destruction of lives and livelihoods, and the creation of panic for its own sake," he said.
"We know that terrorism has unfortunately been with us in different forms across ages and continents. But modern terrorism is being waged on an entirely different scale. It has become an unprecedented threat to international peace, security and development," the UN chief continued.
"Modern terrorism is not only different in degree, but also different in nature - having grown more complex, and with new modus operandi," he added. "And the linkages between terrorism and transnational organized crime are growing every day."
According to Guterres, "the world should never forget that the vast majority of terrorist attacks take place in developing countries."
"The devastating consequences of the threat posed by terrorism in Africa demand collective and comprehensive action," he said. "No single nation, institution, or organization can defeat terrorism in Africa or anywhere else. We need a sustained, cooperative and coordinated approach in tackling this menace."
Gutterres is taking part in the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU). The event is taking place at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from January 22 to 29, under the theme "Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation".
Among other things, African leaders are expected to discuss settlement of regional conflicts, including in the Sahel region, Libya and South Sudan.