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26th Jun, 2022

En route to global security meeting when terror struck

Ian Hughes 2nd Apr, 2017

A DEDICATED peace campaigner from Leamington narrowly missed being caught up in the Westminster terror attack.

Gian Clare, as chair of the Warwick District United Nations Association, had been invited to a parliamentary meeting at the House of Parliament last Wednesday afternoon.

The meeting on global security was set to start at 4.30pm and was arranged as a joint meeting of the UN All Parliamentary Group – MPs interested in UN affairs. It was due to be attended by Adama Dieng, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on global security, and chaired by Baroness Coussins.

Mr Clare told The Observer: “As I arrived and approached the Houses of Parliament at 3.35 pm for the meeting I found myself amongst all the world`s media and press and public onlookers and learnt the terrible event that had taken place on Westminster Bridge an hour earlier.

“The Parliament building was “ under lock down” and cordoned off by huge security presence and no one was permitted to go anywhere near the Parliament buildings.

“I was interviewed by various media channels asking me why I was there and had I seen anything happening. Due to the terrible event our meeting did not take place.”

Mr Clare, who has worked tireless for more than 40 years promoting peace and understanding, said the attack was a reminder of why international co-operation was more important than ever.

“Yesterday`s event is a sharp reminder of the threat we face from Islamist and jihadi movements who are hell bent on destroying our values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech.

“It is quite an irony that what had taken place on Westminster Bridge was when we were there to debate global security and terrorism in the House of Commons`s Committee Room with policy makers.

“It just brought home this terrible reality and vulnerability of terrible events which creates fear amongst the population. This also demonstrates that international cooperation is vital to combat terrorism which transcends international borders.”

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