NGOs urge States at UN to uphold human rights while countering terrorism

The ICJ and other NGOs today sent an open letter to all State delegations in New York, urging them to uphold the protection of human rights while countering terrorism, in forthcoming negotiations on resolutions at the UN General Assembly.

The open letter urges all States to restore the focus of relevant General Assembly resolutions on human rights while countering terrorism, including the human rights of victims of terrorism.

In particular, it calls for States to reject efforts by Egypt and others to dilute, distract or distort this focus by introducing the overbroad concept of “effects of terrorism on all human rights” which seems primarily concerned with the impacts of terrorism more generally on macro-economic conditions, government budgets, and foreign industry and investment, as well as duplicating text from elsewhere in the UN system prescribing particular counter-terrorism measures.

While these may be valid topics for the UN to address in other discussions or fora, the ICJ and other NGOs feel strongly that the limited resources and attention within the UN allocated to the specific focus on human rights while countering terrorism, including human rights of victims of terrorism, should not be lessened or weakened by bringing in such other issues which are only remotely, if at all, linked to human rights. Indeed, the ICJ and other NGOs believe the longer term aim of such efforts is in fact to undermine the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

The open letter can be download in full in PDF format here: UN-Advocacy-OpenLetter-TerrorismHumanRights-2019

For more background, see here and here.

The ICJ has published a compilation on human rights of victims of terrorism available to download in PDF format here.

AdvocacyOpen letters