The United Nations committee entrusted with helping countries tackle terrorism has voiced concern at the close connection between terrorists and transnational organized crime, including the illegal movement of nuclear, chemical, biological and other potentially deadly materials.
Despite “the real and significant achievements of the last 10 years,” much remains to be done at the national, regional and international levels, stressed the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) after a meeting at UN in New York on Sept. 28th.
“The close connection between terrorism and transnational organized crime, including trafficking of illicit drugs, money-laundering, illegal arms trafficking, and illegal movement of nuclear, chemical, biological and other potentially deadly materials,” according to the CTC.
Urging all “to ensure zero-tolerance towards terrorism,” the CTC called for “urgent action to prevent and combat the scourge by preventing those who finance, plan, facilitate or commit terrorist acts from using their respective territories and bringing them to justice.”
‘Comply with International Law, Human Rights…’
UN member states were also urged to prevent the movement of terrorists, including the supply of weapons, through effective border controls, to ensure that funds for charitable purposes are not diverted to terrorist purposes, to implement comprehensive strategies to address conditions that lead to the spread of terrorism including radicalization and recruitment, and to take appropriate steps to prevent and counter incitement to commit terrorist acts.
Both the outcome document and the speakers stressed the need for states to ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism “comply with international law, in particular human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, underscoring that effective counter-terrorism and respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are complementary and mutually reinforcing.”
Do Not Ignore Human Rights
Mike Smith, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s Executive Directorate (CTED), noted that the international community had become “much more aware of the fact that human rights and counter-terrorism need not conflict.”
“Counter-terrorism programmes that ignore the human rights dimension are less effective and can even be counter-productive,” he said, also stressing “the critical need” to address the social and other societal conditions recruiters exploit to persuade young people to support terrorism.
Human Rights Are Not an Acceptable Casualty of War on Terrorism
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon had highlighted on Sept. 19th the resolve shown by countries five years ago in adopting the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, while also stressing the need to reinvigorate efforts to conclude the Comprehensive Convention against Terrorism.
The strategy, he noted, recognizes that terrorism cannot be combated only through security-related or law enforcement means. “Effective counter-terrorism requires a combination of social, educational, economic and political tools that target those factors that make the terrorist option appear attractive.”
“The strategy also recognizes that human rights are an intrinsic part of the fight against terror, not an acceptable casualty of war,” he added.
2011 Human Wrongs Watch