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Human rights at heart of UN strategy to oppose terrorism

The UN Secretary-General says the global security agenda has broadened to encompass climate change, global health and disarmament, as well as counter-terrorism.

The UN Secretary-General says the global security agenda has broadened to encompass climate change, global health and disarmament, as well as counter-terrorism.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has joined other senior United Nations officials in urging States to refocus attention on human rights in the fight against terrorism, at the opening of a meeting exploring innovative ways to combat the global scourge.

In a message to the one-day conference hosted by the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), the Secretary-General underscored the boost counter-terrorism received in 2006 when the General Assembly unanimously adopted the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

“It identifies four pillars for action: addressing conditions that are conducive to terrorism; preventing and combating terrorism; building the capacity of States; and ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism.” said Mr. Ban.

“It is safe to say that human rights is clearly at the centre of the global counter-terrorism strategy at the UN,” said Robert Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Planning and Chair of the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.

“When a major Government like the United States takes the kind of moves that are currently announced by the President of the US that shows a leadership by doing, then we at the UN both recognize and applaud,” Mr. Orr said in response to questions from the media about President Barack Obama’s decision to close the detention facility in Guantánamo Bay.

The Secretary-General noted that the global security agenda had broadened to encompass climate change, global health and disarmament as well as counter-terrorism.

“These issues affect people in all countries, and we need common action by all to resolve them,” added Mr. Ban in the message delivered on his behalf by his Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Safety and Security, David Veness.

Date: 22 January 2009

Source: UN News Centre

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