Meeting the Challenge: A Guide to United Nations Counterterrorism Activities

This book-length publication provides a comprehensive guide to the United Nation’s counterterrorism efforts. It includes an analytical introduction that traces the evolution of UN work on counterterrorism, including both the relevant Security Council resolutions and the actions taken by the UN General Assembly. It argues that if the UN is to be seen as not just a platform for member state diplomacy but also as an effective counterterrorism actor, it must work to “maximize its resources, remove bureaucratic silos, and promote a more collaborative approach.”

Over the past decade, the UN’s work to combat global terrorism has expanded dramatically. Through the initiatives of the General Assembly and Security Council, a complex institutional architecture has formed that draws on the expertise of a range of UN entities and brings a new range of actors into the focus of counterterrorism work.

The entities of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force(CTITF) working together to address terrorism reflect the 2006 UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The strategy, adopted unanimously by UN member states, offers a comprehensive plan to combat terrorism. It calls on actors engaged in development, education, human rights, security, and capacity building at the UN to join together in addressing this common threat. This reference guide is intended to make those bodies, and their work, easier to navigate.

Access to individual chapters (PDFs) are available on the links below:

List of Abbreviated Terms

Entities of the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF):
Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) Office
Al-Qaida Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team
Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED)
Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)
Department of Political Affairs (DPA)
Department of Public Information (DPI)
Department of Safety and Security (DSS)
Expert Group of the 1540 Committee
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
International Maritime Organization (IMO)
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)
Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Office of Legal Affairs (OLA)
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms While Countering Terrorism
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
The World Bank
World Customs Organization (WCO)
World Health Organization (WHO)

Working Groups of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force:
Border Management Related to Counter-Terrorism
Countering the Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes
Preventing and Resolving Conflicts
Preventing and Responding to WMD Terrorist Attacks
Protecting Human Rights While Countering Terrorism
Strengthening the Protection of Vulnerable Targets
Supporting and Highlighting Victims of Terrorism
Tackling the Financing of Terrorism