‘We must fight terrorism together’ without sacrificing legal and human rights, declares UN chief

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

With new solutions proposed, and new partnerships established, the United Nations Secretary-General told delegates from Member States attending the first ever High-Level Conference on Counter-Terrorism, that he was committed to meeting the challenge of “keeping your citizens safe”.

We must fight terrorism together, with methods that do not compromise the rule of law and human rights,” said Antonio Guterres, speaking at the end of the two-day conference marking Counter-Terrorism Week, at UN Headquarters in New York.

The UN chief said that “we should engage with all who can help us achieve our goals”, including empowering young people through education, jobs and training, and engaging women and all of civil society in the fight against terrorism.

He said consideration was being given to establishing a new unit in the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, to ensure that the views of civil society groups – who were among the more than 1,000 delegates attending the landmark two-day event – are “fully reflected” in policies and programmes.

A Global Network of Counter-Terrorism Coordinators, was another likely initiative he said, which would allow expertise and best-practices to be more effectively shared.

Prevention was also key said Mr. Guterres, adding that “terrorists remain determined to find a weakness in our defence…To stay ahead of the terrorists, I call on the international community, the private sector and academia, to share knowledge, expertise and resources to prevent new technologies becoming lethal terrorist weapons,” said the Secretary-General.

Other top UN officials echoed the call for greater youth-involvement as well as preventing the misuse of new technologies and the internet by terrorists.

Development can play a vital role

Achim Steiner, the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), highlighted the role development can play in the “prevention approach.”

“Very often the context within which extremism grows is to some extent linked to failures in development and weaknesses in the institutions that represent the Nation State. Desperation and frustration then may lead people, young people in particular, to lose confidence in state institutions because they have not delivered,” he said.

Mr. Steiner added that despite youth often becoming the “target” for radicalization by violent extremist groups, many young people display “extraordinary resilience” and are addressing violent extremism in a broad range of settings.

“We need to recognize their unique role and further engage them as meaningful partners and leaders. Our youth is not our greatest threat but our greatest hope,” he said, noting that the global community should do “everything possible” to ensure their potential is not undermined by misuse of new technologies of which they are the fastest adopters.

In his remarks, the head of UNDP also highlighted the “enormous potential” offered by new technologies, including to enhance public transparency, broaden meaningful inclusion and participation in decision-making.

We must not fail ‘our future’ – UN Special Adviser

Adama Dieng, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, cited conflicts around the world where States and non-State actors, including terrorists and violent extremist groups, have committed horrific atrocity crimes and that some of those groups have misused religion and the false interpretation of religious texts to incite and justify violence.

In particular, many have sought to entice young people, exploit their grievances and hopes, and drag them into the “trap of violence and terror” he warned.

“Our young people are our future.  We must not fail them,” stressed the Special Adviser, calling for including youth in the design and development of workable solutions. “Including youth in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism must be a priority,” he said.

In his remarks, Mr. Dieng also called on religious leaders to engage more with young people and reach out to those who are marginalized and may be vulnerable to recruitment by terrorists. Collaborate with them to confront ideologies that promote violent extremism, and address topics that religious extremists monopolize, providing counter narratives, he urged.

Gender stereotypes drive choices that terrorists make

Also addressing the conference, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), spoke of the work done by the Organization to address complex gender dynamics around terrorism.

“Gender stereotypes contribute towards the choices that terrorists make: they target women in a specific way, taken them away from families and abduct then where they are not valued,” she said, noting that boys and men too are targeted using “toxic masculinity” to attract them to violence and extremism.

The head of UN Women also cautioned that terrorist groups are increasingly using women and girls in conducting attacks given that are not perceived as a threat to the extent that young men and boys are.

Prejudices and stereotypes against women and girls are now being used by terrorists to use the same “negative stereotypes” that exist in society and perpetuate gender norms that regards girls and boys in different ways, she explained.

The world must recognize the role of women and girls of all ages as “partners in prevention” and response, urged Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka.

“They can facilitate interventions that are human rights-based and gender sensitive … avoiding any unintended consequences,” she said.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How the United States can win back its manufacturing mojo

We can save the Earth. Here’s how

“A Junior Enterprise is run only by students.. there are no professors or managers that can help you solve your problems”

This is what the world’s CEOs think about the global outlook

Kellen Europe Hosts EuroConference 2016

JADE Handover Ceremony at the European Parliement

EU Trade Ministers come together in a desperate attempt to save TTIP

Investing in working conditions and quality jobs

The health of the human being in coexistence with a transformative biosphere

Imaginary Journeys Into Eternal China

Mosquitoes kill more people every day than sharks do in a century

A new proposal breaks the stalemate over the Banking Union

As the inventor of copy and paste dies, here are other computing innovations we take for granted

Assembly of European Regions @ European Business Summit 2014: The European regions on the path to recovery

Where are the world’s nuclear weapons?

Parliament cuts own spending to facilitate agreement on EU budget

Turkey needs to step up investment in renewables to curb emissions

Zero carbon buildings are possible following these four steps

ILO: Progress on gender equality at work remains inadequate

One Hundred Years of Qipao History: from Shanghai to EU

The European Green Deal must be at the heart of the COVID-19 recovery

7 ways the ‘biological century’ will transform healthcare

Implementation of EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: EU mobilises €663 million in humanitarian assistance

EU’s core members are eyeing larger parts of arms trade and of world map

Rural women a ‘powerful force’ for global climate action: UN Secretary-General

‘Wind blowing in the direction of peace’ in Africa: UN Secretary-General

UN envoy says he ‘is ready to go to Idlib’ to help ensure civilian safety amid rising fears of government offensive

Larger species are more at risk of extinction than smaller ones – here’s why

World remains a ‘violent, highly discriminatory place’ for girls

FROM THE FIELD: Restoring life to Ghana’s land

UN food agency appeals for access to key storage facility amid fight for Hudaydah

‘We cannot lose momentum’ on the road to peace in Yemen, UN envoy warns

Impossible Brexit options: WTO or new referendum?

This Central Asian lake is a stark reminder of the impact we have on the planet

The job description for a COVID-19 community health worker – and how this could fight US unemployment

5 creative alternatives to plastic packaging

Developing countries should not be liable for emissions ‘accumulated throughout history’, key UN development forum hears

These 5 charts show our shifting behaviour around coronavirus

People talk less now than during the Cold War, says Merkel at Davos

Here’s how we can tackle the growing cybersecurity skills gap

UN forum to explore use of outer space to improve lives, protect planet

Discussion at Europe House: Brexit & Food

7 shocking statistics that show the cost of corruption

Libya: Security Council demands commitment to ‘a lasting ceasefire’

FROM THE FIELD: Chad returnees’ reluctant homecoming

UN rights chief calls for release of hundreds abducted and abused in South Sudan

Everyone’s ‘buy-in’ needed to restore peace in Kosovo, UN envoy tells Security Council

Multiculturalism, social diversity and tolerance

3 things to know about women in STEM

These five exercise trends will help society and your health

How our global battle against coronavirus could help us fight climate change

Protecting citizens’ access to social security in case of no-deal Brexit

European Youth Forum welcomes steps towards raising awareness of youth rights by EU ministers

‘Be the change’ we desperately need, UN deputy chief urges global youth

If innovators can solve India’s problems, they can save the world. Here’s why

“Asia-Pacific takes stock of ambitious development targets”, written by the Heads of UNFPA and ESCAP

This is why coral reefs are so vital for the planet

Refugee crisis update: Commission is struggling alone with little help from EU or G7 leaders

How Germany strives to mold ECB’s monetary policy to her interests

Coronavirus: the Commission mobilises all of its resources to protect lives and livelihoods

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s