UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy
The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/RES/60/288) is a unique global instrument to enhance national, regional and international efforts to counter terrorism. Through its adoption by consensus in 2006, all UN Member States agreed the first time to a common strategic and operational approach to fighting terrorism.
The Strategy does not only send a clear message that terrorism is unacceptable in all its forms and manifestations but it also resolves to take practical steps, individually and collectively, to prevent and combat terrorism. Those practical steps include a wide array of measures ranging from strengthening state capacity to counter terrorist threats to better coordinating UN System’s counter-terrorism activities.
Pillars of the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy
The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in the form of a resolution and an annexed Plan of Action (A/RES/60/288) is composed of 4 pillars, namely:
Addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism
Measures to prevent and combat terrorism
Measures to build states’ capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and to strengthen the role of the United Nations system in that regard
Measures to ensure respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism
Seventh review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy
The UN General Assembly reviews the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy every two years, making it a living document attuned to Member States’ counter-terrorism priorities.
Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Assembly decided in May 2020 (A/DEC/74/556) to postpone the seventh biennial review of the Strategy to its seventy-fifth session.
The review will thus coincide with the landmark UN75 anniversary of the Organization but also the fifteenth anniversary of the Strategy, and the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), which established the Counter-Terrorism Committee in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
All Member States take part in the review of the Strategy as part of the work of the General Assembly. To assist him in steering this intergovernmental process, the President of the General Assembly has appointed the Permanent Representatives of Oman and Spain to act as co-facilitators. UNOCT will support the co-facilitators as substantive secretariat.
The General Assembly will hold a final plenary meeting on 21-22 June 2021 for the review of the Strategy and consider the adoption of a resolution on this occasion. This will be the first high-level event of the second counter-terrorism week at the United Nations in New York.
In anticipation of the review, the Secretary-General submitted three complementary reports, requested by the General Assembly:
- A report on options to assess the impact and progress made in the implementation of the Strategy by the UN system, issued in May 2019 (A/73/866);
- A initial report on the activities of the United Nations system in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and suggestions for its further implementation (A/74/677), covering the period July 2018 to December 2019, issued in February 2020; and
- An update report on the activities of the United Nations system in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and suggestions for its further implementation (A/75/729), covering the period January to December 2020, issued in February 2021.
The preparation of the initial and update reports benefitted from submissions from Member States and international and regional organizations on their efforts, as well as inputs from civil society organizations gathered by UNOCT through public calls for feedback in 2019 and 2020.