UN launches new framework to combat international terrorism

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on December 6, 2018 launched a new framework titled ‘UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact’ to combat international terrorism and coordinate efforts across the peace and security, humanitarian, human rights and sustainable development sectors.                                                                                                                  The framework is an agreement between the UN chief, 36 organisational entities, the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) and the World Customs Organisation to better serve the needs of member states when it comes to tackling the scourge of international terrorism.

UN Framework: Key Highlights

  • The Coordination Committee of the United Nations will oversee the implementation of the framework and monitor its implementation. The committee is chaired by UN Under-Secretary-General for counter-terrorism, Vladimir Voronkov.
  • During the first meeting of the framework’s Coordination Committee, the committee also discussed strategic priorities for the next two years, based on the sixth review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, relevant Security Council resolutions and UN Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) assessments as well as the requests from member states for technical help.
  • The committee also looked into the organisation of work and ways to improve the delivery of an ‘All-of-UN’ capacity-building support to the member states.
  • The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact Task Force will replace the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, which was established in 2005 to strengthen UN system-wide coordination and coherence of counter-terrorism efforts.

Why do we need the framework?

The new framework has been introduced keeping in mind the need to ensure full respect for international human rights standards and rule of law in countering terrorism.

Speaking on the same, the UN Chief stated that the policies that limit human rights only end up alienating the very communities they aim to protect, which normally have every interest in fighting extremism and as a result, such policies can effectively drive people into the hands of terrorists and undermine prevention efforts.

Global terrorism threat

According to the UN Chief, despite recent successes against the ISIS and its affiliates, the threat posed by returning and relocating fighters, as well as from individuals inspired by them, remains high and has a global reach.

The 2018 Global Terrorism Index released by the Institute for Economic and Peace, indicates that despite a 27 per cent fall in the number of deaths from acts of terrorism worldwide, the impact of terrorism remains widespread, with 67 countries experiencing deadly attacks, which is the second highest recorded number of countries in the past twenty years.

While terrorist organisations like Da’esh and Al Qaida continue their terror threats and activities, neo-Nazi and far-right groups have begun using the Internet as a platform to mobilise support across borders through hate speech and exploit economic anxieties, radicalise, recruit and carry out attacks against nations.

Misuse of Emerging Technologies

At a time when terror is on a new high, the UN Chief has urged greater vigilance against the misuse of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, drones and 3D (three-dimensional) printing, as well as against the use of hate-speech and distortion of religious beliefs by extremist and terrorist groups.

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