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

 

Cross-Regional Perspectives on Democratic Accountability

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This afternoon a meeting was convened on the linkages between human rights, rule of law, and democracy, and their effects on public service delivery. Ms. Miculescu began the meeting by stating that transparent and accountable institutions, as well as active participation and inclusion of all citizens in policy-making processes, are imperative for efficient public service delivery, democracy, and human rights.

Following this introduction, Dr. Spehar spoke about how democratic accountability is relevant for development, how to ensure democratic accountability in public service delivery through horizontal accountability (state institutions that hold each other accountable) as well as through vertical accountability (the role of citizens, civil society, and the media to hold government institutions accountable), and how democratic accountability can be assessed by using various governance indicators. The most effective democratic accountability comes from the interplay between formal accountability mechanisms like checks and balances within the government, and civil society working together.

Mr. Hilale then spoke about how Morocco has worked to decrease corruption, and promote human rights by reforming and creating accountable institutions. Furthermore, Mr. Hilale stated that gender equality and the empowerment of women, as well as human rights education and training, are necessary to uphold the rule of law and have good governance in order for democratic accountability in public service delivery to exist.

Next, Ms. Tan spoke about how Singapore’s strong commitment to rule of law and democratic accountability in public service delivery helped by Singapore’s relatively quick development. She also highlighted how holding democratic elections, equality of opportunity, and a collaborative relationship between the government and its citizens are necessary for democratic accountability.

Mr. Ulibarri then spoke about how in 2004, two former Costa Rican presidents were prosecuted for corruption charges. He stated how shocking this was for the nation, and that in order to promote accountability and eradicate government corruption a country needs strong legislation, guaranteed access to public information for its citizens, and an accepted and enhanced role for civil society to promote good institutions. To conclude, Mr. Massimo stated that democratic political processes are fundamental to inclusive development, and necessary for democratic accountability. It’s important to take into account how responsive government institutions are, and the role that actors and policy makers play in public service delivery.

 

Meeting Title: Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Sharing Cross-Regional Perspectives on Democratic Accountability in Public Service Delivery
Speakers: H.E. Ms. Simona Miculescu, Permanent Representative of Romania; Dr. Elizabeth Spehar, Director of European Division, UN Department of Political Affairs; H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of Morocco; H.E. Ms. Karen Tan, Permanent Representative of Singapore; Mr. Massimo Tommasoli, Permanent Observer for International IDEA to the UN
Location: United Nations HQ, Conference Room 7, New York 
Date:
9 June 2014
Written by WIT representative: Marli Kasdan
Edited by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark