IPI HomePublicationsMeeting NotesThe UN, Human Rights, and the Struggle against Terrorism

 

print print  |  share share back back

Meeting Notes - October 31, 2003

The UN, Human Rights, and the Struggle against Terrorism

International Peace Institute

 

 

From Conference Report Executive Summary: The United Nations Secretary-General has a unique role to play in reminding states that in combating terrorism they must respect human rights; otherwise, the effort will be self-defeating. The Secretary-General should uphold the legitimacy and credibility of the UN in the struggle against terrorism and one way to do this is by being a leading advocate of human rights, democracy, and equitable trade and development. This would prevent the UN from being identified with a particular country's approach or counterterrorism strategy, which could otherwise undermine its independence and standing. The Secretary-General is the most credible and potentially effective messenger in the world today for respecting human rights, especially in these dangerous times.

The Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) must take a much more active role in assessing state reports on counter-terrorism measures. The CTC cannot be a mere mail-drop for reports, but must offer assessments of state performance in respecting human rights and engage states in a constructive dialogue on how they can fight terror while upholding human rights.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), along with some of the permanent UN human rights bodies, must be more creative in exploiting opportunities to advance the cause of human rights while recognizing the need to combat terrorism. The OHCHR must be ready and have the necessary financial and personnel resources to work with the CTC. The Human Rights Committee, which oversees compliance with the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, must be ready to assist by offering its legal expertise. A Special Rapporteur on Terrorism could be appointed by the Commission on Human Rights.

The Global Observatory

Oil Rich but Lacking Institutions, Libya Struggles to Build a State: Q&A with Dr. Younes Abouyoub
With violence on the rise, Libya's road to democracy and statehood needs stronger institutions, better political dialogue, and a stronger UN mandate.

Key Global Events to Watch in August
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

August 25, 2014
High-Level Forum Examines Lessons of 1814 and 1914 for Today
2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and the bicentenary of the opening of the Congress of Vienna–two dates that profoundly shaped the course of history.

August 22, 2014
Real World Lessons Inform 2014 IPI Course in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution
The 2014 Advanced Course in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, held June 22-25, led an array of international diplomats through three days of in-depth lectures, negotiation and public speaking exercises.

July 17, 2014
EU and UN Seek Ways to Improve Cooperation in Peacekeeping
The European Union is among the strongest supporters of UN peacekeeping missions around the globe, but the growing challenges faced by UN-led operations have raised the need for better EU-UN cooperation, both on the ground and at the planning level.

View More