Rosalie Fransen at An Informal Discussion with the Outgoing Chair of the Counter Terrorism Committee (Tunisia Mission to UN)

December 16, 2021

16 December 2021, 8:00 a.m. – 09:45 (EDT) / 13:00 - 14:45 (GMT)

After the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001) and the establishment of its Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC), the whole-of- Government and whole-of society approach in countering terrorism and violent extremism has progressively been recognized and addressed by the Security Council, including through resolution 1624 (2005) which stresses the importance of civil society and other actors, in efforts to enhance dialogue and broaden understanding, in promoting tolerance and coexistence, and in forstering an environment which is not conducive to terrorism.

In its resolution 2395 (2017), the Security Council notes the importance of respect for the rule of law in effectively combating terrorism and welcomes the role of relevant civil society, academia, think tanks, and the private sector, especially women-, youth-, and locally-focused actors, in this regard.

More recently, the Security Council adopted a Statement of the President of the Security Council (PRST/2021/1) during the open meeting held on 12 January 2021, in which the Security Council stresses the need for Member States to continue voluntary cooperation with the private sector and civil society to develop and implement more effective means to counter the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes, all while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms. It further underscores the importance of a whole of government and whole of society approach, stresses the importance of cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, particularly civil society, in countering terrorism and

violent extremism conducive to terrorism, and encourages the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and youth in this process.

Guided by the Security Council resolutions, the Counter Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate (CTED) have strengthened their engagement with a wide range of actors, including through the Committee’s open and closed briefings and Special Meetings, the assessment visits conducted by CTED on the Committee’s behalf, as well as through the continued engagement with the academic community via the Global Research Network. The Committee and CTED mainstream human rights and the gender perspective throughout the different areas of their work. In the Outcome document (S/2021/986) of the Special Meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee commemorating the adoption of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), held on 4 November 2021, the CTC urged Member States, inter alia, to develop comprehensive and integrated national counterterrorism strategies that fully comply with the rule of law, fully respect the dignity and human rights of all, and reach out to, and actively involve, all parts of society and all communities and to continue efforts to ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and youth across all counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism conducive to terrorism (CVE) approaches and strategies.

Despite the efforts made, the impact of counter terrorism measures on human rights and on civic space remains to be addressed and mitigated at the national and multilateral levels. While non-governmental actors can themselves constitute a target of terrorist acts due to their work, they can also be subjected to restrictions and violations resulting, inter alia, from broad and ambiguous frameworks or from the unbalanced implementation of counter terrorism measures.

The COVID-19 pandemic increased restrictions imposed on civil society participation, particularly with the shift of available resources to health priorities, and the disruption of movement, outreach and programming. The interruption of travel and the imposition of other restrictions, while relatively minimizing the operational capacity of certain terrorist groups, similarly impacted the ability of Govermental and non-governmental actors to interact meaningfully, including on key counter-terrorism issues in the United Nations.

As an outgoing Member of the Security Council and the outgoing Chair of the Counter Terrorism Committee, Tunisia organizes this side event as an informal town hall conversation with relevant stakeholders, with the aim to:

  • Promote the work of the Counter Terrorism Committee and increase its transparency for relevant actors, by creating an informal space for dialogue and interaction on issues of relevance in the Security Council between Member States, including the Members of the Counter Terrorism Committee, NGOs and UN mechanisms.
  • Seek the views of Non-Govermental actors on progress so far achieved by the CTC and CTED to include considerations of human rights, gender and civic space into their work, and their possible recommendations, especially in view of the mandate renewal process for CTED.
  • Share experiences, challenges and lessons learned of the outgoing and current members of the Security Council and the outgoing Chair of the Counter Terrorism Committee.

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