The world commemorates 20th anniversary of 9/11 terror attacks that killed citizens from more than 90 countries

U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and First Lady Jill Biden on Saturday, September 11, 2021, will travel to New York City, New York, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to honor and memorialize the lives lost 20 years ago in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Former Presidents Barack H. Obama and George W. Bush will participate as well, bringing together three of the four presidents of the post-9/11 era.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with staff in the Oval Office, April 21, 2010, prior the meeting with Congressional leadership on the pending Supreme Court nomination. Attending, from left, are Counsel to the President Bob Bauer, Deputy Counsel to the President Susan Davies, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Chief of Staff to the Vice President Ron Klain, and Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs Phil Schiliro. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) 
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with staff in the Oval Office, April 21, 2010, prior the meeting with Congressional leadership on the pending Supreme Court nomination. Attending, from left, are Counsel to the President Bob Bauer, Deputy Counsel to the President Susan Davies, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Chief of Staff to the Vice President Ron Klain, and Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs Phil Schiliro. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Former president Donald J. Trump will be the only one absent. Instead, he will be providing commentary on a boxing match on Saturday night.

U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he arrives at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., January 20, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria 
U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he arrives at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., January 20, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

President Biden will be joined by other senior officials as America mourns and remembers those who were killed by the terrorists trained in Afghanistan by Osama bin Laden.

Mr. Biden last month brought the war in Afghanistan to a close after 20 years, hundreds of thousands of dead and trillions of dollars spent.

In Washington D.C., Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will join the Department of State workforce in honoring the lives and memories of those America lost in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Secretary Blinken will host the ceremony at 9:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, September 10, at the Department of State. Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins will moderate the event and provide opening remarks.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken meets virtually with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Raychelle Omamo, from the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on April 27, 2021. State Department photo by Ron Przysucha 
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken meets virtually with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Raychelle Omamo, from the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on April 27, 2021. State Department photo by Ron Przysucha

On Thursday, members of the United Nations Security Council marked the solemn anniversary with a visit to the September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City.

“The members of the Security Council are as united today as they were 20 years ago in their commitment to prevent and counter terrorism, in all its forms and wherever it occurs, consistent with international law,” they said in a statement.

The members of the Security Council offered their condolences to the families and friends of those killed in these attacks, recognizing that more than 90 countries lost citizens.

“Twenty years ago, the members of the Security Council quickly condemned the horrifying terrorist attacks which took place in the United States on September 11, 2001,” they said. “So, today, the members of the Security Council re-commit to the words set forth in the Charter of the United Nations to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…and for these ends to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security.” Those words are a guiding light to all nations as we engage in our solemn task to make the world safer and more secure.”

In remarks on Thursday, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the occasion would be used to reflect and remember and honor the victims of 9/11 attacks, as well as the survivors and first responders from that day.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield (left), new Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, pays a courtesy call to Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Mark Garten 25 February 2021 New York, United States of America 
Linda Thomas-Greenfield (left), new Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, pays a courtesy call to Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Mark Garten 25 February 2021 New York, United States of America

“Over 90 countries, including some of us here today, lost citizens on that day. And I hope that we can use this occasion to reflect and remember and honor those victims, as well as the survivors and first responders from that day,” she said. “The Council and the world should never forget the attack on the city that we all now call our home. And so many other people feel that New York is a global city, it’s an international city, it’s a city that they all feel close to. And so, we have to make sure that we honor this city and show our respect for this city moving forward.”

The commemoration comes even as terrorism seems to be rising again, and on Thursday, senior diplomatic representatives from the Small Group of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS met in a virtual setting to discuss the global campaign against Daesh/ISIS.

U.S. Acting Special Envoy for the Global Coalition John Godfrey provided an update on progress in Iraq and Syria, and outlined the Coalition’s focus on defeating Daesh/ISIS global branches, including in Afghanistan and Africa.

In addressing the situation in Iraq, Special Envoy Godfrey stressed the need to intensify civilian counterterrorism capacity building efforts to help ensure the sustainable defeat of Daesh/ISIS within Iraq, and noted that the United States intends to continue its support for the Iraqi Security Forces even as it completes its transition away from a combat role.

In Syria, stabilization efforts in areas liberated from Daesh/ISIS remain a core component of efforts to prevent a resurgence of Daesh/ISIS there.

Coalition partners emphasized the importance of contributions to stabilization in areas of Iraq and Syria liberated from Daesh/ISIS – to date, Coalition partners have pledged more than $600 million against their 2021 goal of $670 million.

Special Envoy Godfrey highlighted the ongoing security challenge posed by the thousands of ISIS fighters detained in northeast Syria and their associated family members in displaced persons camps, urging their repatriation to help prevent Daesh/ISIS from reconstituting capability in Iraq and Syria.

Coalition partners also discussed the growing threat posed by ISIS branches outside of Iraq and Syria, highlighting the horrific terrorist attack ISIS-K perpetrated on August 26 in Kabul and its ongoing terrorist campaign.

Small Group representatives agreed to focus work in the D-ISIS Coalition’s Communications, Countering-ISIS Finance, and Foreign Terrorist Fighters Working Groups on countering the ISIS-K threat, drawing on expertise and capacity developed in the fight against Daesh/ISIS in Iraq and Syria. They also carried forward the important discussion from June at the D-ISIS Coalition Ministerial Meeting in Rome about leveraging Coalition expertise and working group capabilities to address the threat posed by ISIS branches in Africa.

Coalition partners reiterated their support for continued counterterrorism pressure against Daesh/ISIS in Iraq and Syria to consolidate gains there and affirmed their commitment to defeating ISIS globally, including in Afghanistan and Africa. The Coalition remains united and resolved in its determination to achieve the enduring defeat of Daesh/ISIS wherever it operates and to bringing its members to justice.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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