Analysis of the Statement by the President of the Security Council on Counterterrorism (May 2018)

By Savini Ganhewa

Overview

This presidential statement primarily focuses on prevention mechanisms to address the linkages between terrorism and transnational organized crime, in accordance with the Security Council’s consideration of the item titled, “threats to international peace and security”. In the statement, the Council encourages Member States to implement the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime of 2000, the UN Convention Against Corruption of 2003, and the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy, [1]PRST/2018/9, para. 5 and places its support behind the cooperation between the Counterterrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), United Nations Office of Counterterrorism (UNOCT), United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), other relevant UN entities, and INTERPOL. It further encourages cooperation between the CTED and the  Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in addressing the financing of terrorism and terrorist activity through transnational organized crime. Additionally, the Council calls on Member States to improve border controls and to implement mechanisms to prevent national border crossings through controls on the issuance of identity papers, travel documents, and measures to prevent the counterfeiting or forgery of papers. [2]PRST/2018/9, para. 12

Women, peace, and security

This presidential statement only contains two women, peace, and security (WPS) references and does not integrate gender as a cross-cutting issue throughout the statement. In the statement, the Council encourages Member States and regional, subregional, and international organizations to be in compliance with WPS Resolution 2242 (2015) when developing strategies to address the linkages between terrorism and transnational organized crime. [3]PRST/2018/9, para. Despite this reference, the Council does not integrate key commitments in Resolution 2242 throughout the statement and fails to integrate the WPS agenda in this regard.

Similarly, towards the end of the statement, the Council makes a key WPS reference recognizing the “connection between terrorism, sexual violence, and transnational organized criminal activities, in particular trafficking in persons.” [4]PRST/2018/9, para. 1 While recognizing a particular impact of violent extremism faced primarily by women, the Council fails to go further by highlighting the impacts that violent extremism has on women’s health, education, participation in public life, and access to important resources.

Additionally, while the Council acknowledges that failure to respect international human rights law, international refugee law, and international humanitarian law, and failure to uphold respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law could lead to increased violent radicalization, [5]PRST/2018/9, para. it does not steer attention to how counterterrorism strategies may impact women’s human rights and women’s organizations in particular ways, as highlighted by WPS Resolution 2242 (2015). [6]RES/2242 (2015), OP 1

Missed opportunities

In this presidential statement, the Council misses multiple, key opportunities to integrate gender as a cross-cutting issue and fails to call for the participation and leadership of women’s groups and civil society organizations in combating the threat posed by terrorists and the financing of terrorist activities by transnational organized crime, as committed to in SCR 2242 (2015). For example, when encouraging Member States and relevant entities to conduct research on the stated linkages, the Council misses a key opportunity to call for gender-sensitive research, despite the reference made further down in the statement to the connection between terrorism, sexual violence, and transnational organized crime. [7]PRST/2018/9, para. 4 & 1 In addition, the Council fails to encourage increased critical, gender-sensitive research and reporting on the connection between counterterrorism strategies and radicalization, the specific impacts that such strategies have on women’s human rights, and the specific impacts that terrorism has on women’s health, education, participation in public life, and access to resources.  Further, in addressing the role of relevant UN bodies to this regard, including the Counter-terrorism Executive Directorate, the Council does not call for gender-sensitive reporting and research despite progress made in the mandate of the CTED calling for the consideration of gender as a cross-cutting issue, including in its research and reporting.  [8]RES/2395, OP 2

Additionally, when discussing strategic partnerships to combat violent extremism, the statement focuses on Member States and regional, subregional, and international organizations, and relevant UN entities, missing a key opportunity to integrate the participation and leadership of  civil society and women’s organizations as important partners in counterterrorism efforts. In fact, the Council does not make any references to women, women’s groups, and/or civil society organizations, and fails to encourage Member States and relevant organizations to hold consultations with these groups in order to develop mechanisms to address this issue, as committed to by WPS Resolution 2242 (2015). [9]RES/2242 (2015), OP 1

References

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