The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every aspect of life in every corner of the world. At the Global Center, the health, safety, and well-being of our team, partners, and the communities we serve has been our first priority. We join you all in thanking healthcare and essential workers.

We are yet to know the long-term impact of this crisis.

In the short-term, we are adapting how we work to enable us to continue our mission safely. Our team has been working from home for a number of weeks and will continue to do so for the time being.

Early April, we hosted our first virtual roundtable on implementing multilateral counterterrorism approaches to prosecution, rehabilitation, repatriation, and reintegration with more than 80 participants from the United Nations, national governments, and civil society from across the globe. We look forward to continuing these discussions online.

We are liaising with our local partners to ensure they have the means to continue their work while practicing social distancing and prioritizing their health and well-being, and that of their families and communities.

In the medium- to long-term, we anticipate the social, economic, and political impacts of the pandemic will redefine conflict dynamics, exacerbate resource deficits, and place enormous burdens on healthcare providers and humanitarian actors in the countries where we work. COVID-19 will particularly harm those that are already the most vulnerable.

Terrorists and violent extremist groups will leverage this global crisis; they have already started to spread disinformation in order to weaponize our anxiety.

We will need greater vigilance in upholding the rule of law, human rights, and fundamental freedoms to ensure the measures taken to contain the virus are not abused.

We stand united with you – our friends, colleagues, partners and supporters – as we face this unprecedented challenge.

Wishing you health and well-being.

Eelco Kessels
Executive Director

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