United Nations Member States must work together to combat international terrorism, one of the most serious threats to global peace and security, the General Assembly says, stressing the need for dialogue and the involvement of regional organizations and civil society in counter-terrorism measures.
In a resolution adopted last night at the end of a plenary session on the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the General Assembly reaffirmed that that it is the primary responsibility of Member States to implement the strategy, while recognizing the need to enhance the important role played by the UN.
The role of the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force was to facilitate coordination of anti-terrorism efforts with international, regional and sub-regional organizations and promote coherence in the implementation of the strategy at the national, regional and global levels. Members States can request assistance from the task force, especially in capacity-building, according to the resolution.
The Strategy was adopted unanimously by the General Assembly in September 2006 and remains the strategic framework and practical guidance on joint efforts by the international community to counter terrorism.
The strategy’s four pillars are: tackling the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; preventing and combating terrorism; building States’ capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and to strengthen the role of the UN system in that regard; ensuring respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism.
The General Assembly “encourages civil society, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to engage, as appropriate, in efforts to enhance the implementation of the strategy, including through interaction with Member States and the United Nations system.”
UN entities involved in supporting counter-terrorism efforts should to continue to facilitate the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as due process and the rule of law, while combating terrorism, the General Assembly said in its resolution.
In his remarks to the plenary yesterday, General Assembly President Ali Treki, had also stressed that any measures undertaken by Member States to prevent and combat terrorism must fully comply with their obligations under international law, including the UN Charter and the relevant international conventions and protocols, particularly human rights law, refugee law and international humanitarian law, the right to self-determination and the end to occupation and aggression.
The Assembly’s resolution urged States that are not parties to existing international conventions and protocols against terrorism to consider doing so, and called upon countries to make efforts to conclude a comprehensive convention on international terrorism.
In a report made public ahead of the General Assembly’s plenary meeting, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also urged stronger partnerships between the UN, governments, regional organizations and civil society to implement provisions of the strategy against terrorism.
The Assembly encouraged the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force to develop a comprehensive website to ensure that its work is made accessible to a wider audience.
The task force should also interact with Member States, including by providing quarterly briefings and comprehensive reports on its current and future work to ensure transparency and to enable them to assess the work being done and provide policy guidance and feedback on implementation efforts.
According to the resolution, the Secretary-General should submit to the General Assembly at its
66th session in 2012, a report on progress made in the implementation of the strategy, which could contain suggestions for its future implementation by the UN system, as well as on progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.