Addressing ISIS’ threat to international peace and security

Security Council

United Nations Security Council

The 7962nd Security Council meeting was held to discuss the threat that ISIS (Da’esh) poses to international peace and security, and to report the efforts that the United Nations has made to support Member States against this threat.

Reports made by various members of the Security Council all confirmed that ISIL is indeed succumbing to military pressures across Iraq and Syria. However, in spite of this pressure, all members of the Security Council acknowledge the need for persistent vigilance, as ISIL is constantly evolving its tactics to gain both funds and supporters.

Japan, in particular, raised concerns over ISIL’s increasing interest in South East Asia. As such, Japan has urged other Member States to join in with funding South East Asian countries’ implementation of resolutions that will buttress them against the threat of ISIL. Thus far, Japan has provided 30 million USD to countries in South East Asia to facilitate the development of resources including advanced passenger information and counter-propaganda plans.

In his closing remarks, the representative from Egypt called for a reconsideration of anti-terrorism vocabulary, in particular the phrase “Islamic extremism”. He asserts that Islam is a religion that does not know extremism; rather, individuals use Islam as a pretext to create violence.

MEETING: Security Council 7962nd Meeting
DATE/LOCATION: Thursday, 8th June, 2017; 10:00 – 12:00; Security Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
SPEAKERS: Members of Security Council
WRITTEN BY: WIT Representative Sophie Pu

Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights

 

7_steps_to_protect_your_online_security_148650499-300x168

 

Session 5 of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate on “Preventing the Exploitation of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) for Terrorist purposes, while Respecting Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms” addressed civil society’s role in using ICTs for counter-terrorism messaging purposes. Ms. Humera Khan, moderator for the technical meeting and Executive Director of Muflehun, introduced four panelists whose organizations actively take part in global counterterrorist messaging. A member of Al-Azhar Observer, . Mahmoud Nagah Ahmed Farag Khalaf, remarked, “The internet and social media are arenas for terrorist organizations.” As the use of social media increases, the goal of terrorist organizations has transitioned from gaining attention to gaining members. They promote extremist ideologies on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by manipulating social, political, and religious views in their favor. Online advertisements have become extremely desirable for terrorist organizations, allowing them to easily recruit vulnerable people.

While terrorist organizations using the Internet for manipulation is a threat, there are benefits to their online activity. Mr. Ross Fernett, co-founder of Moonshot CVE, highlighted that the Internet has allowed people to track these organizations, obtain more information about them, and prevent some large scale potential disasters. This form of violence prevention was nearly impossible a generation ago. NGOs, such as The Foundation for the Study of Democracies, collect information like logos and specific language frequently used in terrorist media and spread them to the general public to counter-message their ideologies. Other NGOs create peer to peer relationships in which trained individuals correspond with those who show interest in terrorist organizations. However, this tactic becomes a legal issue for other nations, as interest is legally seen as either a free expression of thought, or as a serious threat to society.

Meeting: Technical Meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate on “Preventing the Exploitation of Information and Communications Technologies for Terrorist Purposes, while Respecting Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms”

Date/Time/Location: Thursday, 1 December 2016; 10:00 to 12:00; United Nations Headquarters, Conference Room 4

Speakers: Ms. Humera Khan, Executive Director of Muflehun; Mr. Nash Borges, Chief Technology Officer of U.S. Global Engagement Center; Dr. Mahmoud Nagah Ahmed Farag Khalaf, member of Al-Azhar Observer; Mr. Maxim Grigoryev, Director of The Foundation for the Study of Democracies; Mr. Ross Fernett, Co-founder of Moonshot CVE

Written By: Leticia Murillo, WIT Representative

 

Security Council Committee: Protecting Tourism from Terrorism

logo-ctc

A joint open briefing was conducted to discuss the protection of critical tourism infrastructure. While natural disasters can be managed by implementing effective steps to restore the infrastructural damage, terrorism has a stronger and deeper impact on national security and hence, poses a greater challenge to national reputation, which cannot be easily restored. Chairperson Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaitė emphasised that terrorists are very well aware of these vulnerabilities and therefore, they continue to instill fear among people to the detriment of the country’s tourism.

Mr. Jean Paul Laborde, suggested four points towards enhancing the protection of tourism against terrorism. Firstly, there is a need for a well-integrated, sophisticated mechanism. Secondly, we should aim to turn perceived vulnerabilities into a source of strength in creative ways. Thirdly, enforcing security and catering to development needs are required since there is a close relation between development and security. Finally, respect for the rights of tourists needs to be integrated.

Mr. Jehangir Khan drew attention to the reasons as to why the CTITF should devote greater attention to the tourism sector with the UNWTO. The tourism industry employs millions of people and hence, it is closely tied to the development of economy. The member states have agreed to step up all their efforts to counter terrorism for which they may require assistance in the form of international cooperation. He also emphasised the value of public-private partnerships in promoting and securing the tourism sector. The collaboration between the states and various agencies will facilitate this process by bringing together collective wealth and expertise, thereby maximising the utility of national efforts.

Mr. Taleb Rifai, stated that the UNWTO is keen on strengthening its engagement with CTITF, in order to catalyse and mobilise counter-terrorism efforts of various UN system entities and to assist Member States in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. UNWTO aims to utilize its technical expertise to provide ongoing assistance to its members to assess and reduce risks related to tourism, particularly enhancing preparedness and mitigating the impact of terrorist attacks.

Meeting Title – Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism (Joint open briefing)
Speakers: Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaitė, Chair of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee; Mr. Jean Paul Laborde, the Director of CTED (Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate); Mr. Jehangir Khan, Director of Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF); Mr. Taleb Rifai, the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
Date – June 11th, 2014
Location: United Nations HQ, Trusteeship Council, New York
Written by WIT representative– Nusrat Laskar

UN Addressing Conditions Conducive to Terrorism

UN_CT

A meeting on the ways to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism was held in the Trusteeship Council. Beginning the meeting, H.E. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gave a statement condemning Sunday’s recent terrorist attack in the Karachi airport, which killed 23 people. He urged the international community to be united in showing strong solidarity against terrorism, and called for support of the victims, families, and communities affected by terrorism.

Following this introduction, two UN civil servants, Mr. Jason Pronyk and Mr. Mohammad Younis, gave their personal testimony from the 2003 terrorist attacks in Baghdad. On August 19, 2003, both men were injured in the bombing of the Canal hotel in Baghdad. The Canal hotel was used as UN headquarters, and a total of 22 UN civil servants were killed. Both men suffered severe injuries to their head, neck, and upper bodies. Mr. Pronyk and Mr. Younis called for raising awareness of victims, and providing increased care to victims including medical, social, and psychological support.

Concluding the meeting, Mr. Feldman, Chairman of the Counter Terrorism Task Force, gave a statement focused on strategies to support victims of terrorism. The UN Victims of Terrorism Portal helps terrorism victims find support, including finding organizations that work on rehabilitation, psycho social support, and information on how to access criminal justice systems. Mr. Feldman said victims are often forgotten, and besides forming a global strategy to combat terrorism, supporting victims of terrorism is also necessary.

Meeting Title: Interactive Dialogue on “Addressing Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism”
Speakers: H.E. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon; Mr. Jason Pronyk; Mr. Mohhamad Younis; Mr. Jeffrey Feldman, Undersecretary General for the Department of Political Affairs and Chairman of the Counter Terrorism Task Force
Date: 11 June 2014
Location: United Nations HQ, Trusteeship Council, New York
Written by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan