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

In Light of Scottish Referendum, What Future for Frustrated Secessionists?
As secessionist movements proliferate around the world, a look at what leads some to succeed and others to fail.

Key Global Events to Watch in September
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

September 25, 2014
Estonian President: Russia’s Actions Threaten International System
On September 25th, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia warned that Russia’s recent aggression in Ukraine is a threat to the norms of the international system as we know them, and that it may lead to a drastic reassessment of foreign policy priorities in Europe.

September 22, 2014
Kevin Rudd, Former Australian PM, to Chair Independent Commission on Multilateralism
Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, will chair the newly launched Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM). The Commission will be co-chaired by Børge Brende, Foreign Minister of Norway, and John Baird, Foreign Minister of Canada.

September 22, 2014
IPI Hosts Ministers, Officials at Annual Mideast Dinner
On Monday, September 22nd, IPI held its Ninth Ministerial Dinner on the Middle East in its Trygve Lie Center for Peace, Security, and Development. The working dinner saw the participation of foreign ministers and other high-level representatives from the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and beyond.

View More