Human Rights and Counterterrorism: The Role of the UN

On April 20th, the International Peace Institute hosted a lunchtime policy forum on “Human Rights and Counterterrorism: The Role of the UN.” IPI Vice President and Director of External Relations Warren Hoge welcomed a record 125 people to IPI’s Trygve Lie Center and, following his remarks, Ambassador Claude Heller of Mexico discussed the UN’s role in upholding human rights, and the instruments at its disposal.
The panelists–John Sifton of OneWorld Research, Kristen Boon of Seton Hall University School of Law, and Edward Flynn of the UN Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate–proceeded to discuss the weaknesses in upholding human rights within the international counterterrorism regime. Among such shortcomings highlighted were those abuses taking place on a wide scale, but often neglected by the media: detention, profiling, deportation, and asset freezing. Judicial challenges to implementation of the Security Council’s counterterrorism regime were also discussed, as were the role and function of the Security Council and its Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED).
Moderated by the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation’s Eric Rosand, the event was attended by more than one hundred state representatives, experts, and practitioners, demonstrating the resonance of this issue among the international community. The overlap of human rights issues with counterterrorism was also touched upon during IPI’s 2008 Task Forces on Strengthening Multilateral Security Capacity, from which an IPI Blue Paper on Countering Terrorism will emerge in the coming months.

Welcoming Remarks
Mr. Warren Hoge,
Vice President and Director of External Relations, International Peace Institute

H.E. Mr. Claude Heller,
Permanent Representative of Mexico to the UN

Professor Kristen Boon,
Associate Professor, Seton Hall University School of Law

Mr. Edward J. Flynn,
Senior Human Rights Adviser, UN Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, New York

Mr. John Sifton,
Executive Director, OneWorld Research

Mr. Eric Rosand,
Co-Director, Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation, New York