“I firmly believe that terrorism must be confronted in a manner that respects human rights law. Insisting on a human rights-based approach and a rule of law approach to countering terrorism is imperative. Over the long term, a commitment to uphold respect for human rights and the rule of law will be one of the keys to success in countering terrorism – not an impediment blocking our way.”
Distinguished members of the Human Rights Council, dear stakeholder representatives, Counter-terrorism policies led to violations of human rights way before 2001. However, the subject of the violation of human rights in connection with countering terrorism has attracted more interest since the establishment of counter-terrorism policies in so many new countries which came along with the terrorist attacks on 11th September 2001. Already seven years ago the Security Council stated that states must ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, and should adopt such measures in accordance with international law, in particular international human rights, refugee, and humanitarian law.  “It is a good thing” is the answer you would get if you ask random people about countering-terrorism but everybody following the media – even if just sparely – came across Guantánamo, Secret Detention, Waterboarding and many more keywords in this topic area. This guide will give you a rough overview topic two; essential to your proper preparation as a delegate is nevertheless your own research. Short introductions should normally not name too much references, however I decided to mention all the important resolutions and reports because it is crucial to have the same base in order to have a constructive discussion on the topic.
First of all the question about a proper definition of what terrorism is has to be asked since there remains no definitive consensus. National states such as India, Syria, United Kingdom and the United States included definitions of terrorism in their national law. The United Nations General Assembly in its non-binding United Nations Declaration to supplement the 1994 Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, also tried to define what terrorist activities are.  In addition the Security Council  condemned terrorist acts as: “Criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act, which constitute offenses within the scope of and as defined in the international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical,
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