U.N. Counterterrorism Negotiations Begin with Big Questions Unanswered

Updating the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) for the next two years


Summary adapted from Just Security

At the end of February, the UN Secretary-General released the biannual report on the “Activities of the United Nations system in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.” This report is intended to inform Member States and other stakeholders on the UN’s counterterrorism work – both what it has done and how much it has achieved – and marks the start of a three-month negotiation period to update the U.N. Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) for the next two years.

An updated set of policy responses to transnational terrorism is long overdue, as the report is crucial for ensuring that the UN’s practices are not contributing to growing counterterrorism abuses. Ultimately, bad counterterrorism practices at the UN contribute to bad practices and outcomes at the national level, compounding civilian harm.

While the report touches on the right issues, it does not fully address important questions concerning oversight, impact and effectiveness, and the role of technology in U.N. counterterrorism operations.

This Just Security article, co-authored by ICNL Senior Legal Advisor Nicholas Miller, unpacks the report, reviewing the achievements and discusses additional options for how the U.N. can respond to pressing challenges and think about solutions to counterterrorism beyond those cited. Please read the full article from Just Security here.

United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism; United Nations Counterterrorism, Photo by Mathias Reding on Unsplash (yfXhqAW5X0c)

Learn more about the issue and explore INCL’s analyses on Counterterrorism and Security here.