“The Security Council condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and has insisted on many occasions that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivations, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed,” His Excellency, Ambassador Tarek Ladeb, Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, stated as he opened the briefing on “Emerging trends in violent extremism conducive to terrorism and addressing violent extremism through a human rights-based approach,” on 9 October 2020.
The virtual open briefing brought together policymakers, practitioners, civil society organizations and researchers – including members of the Global Research Network (GRN), to examine and discuss the increased terrorism acts being carried out by extreme-right or racially and ethnically motivated groups.
The meeting began with a statement from Mr. Kevin Tso of Victim Support New Zealand, who highlighted the need for a victim-centric approach when considering a collective response to the global threat of terrorism. “The effects [of the Christchurch terrorist attack] have been severe post-traumatic stress, physical injury and disablement, economic impacts including loss of breadwinner or the ability to work will be felt for generations, and unfortunately far beyond what we can compensate from appeal funds,” explained Mr. Tso.
Panelists agreed that the threat from extreme right-wing terrorists is on the rise and increasingly concerning. Mr. Bernd Heinze, Head of Division for international cooperation against terrorism at the Federal Foreign Office of the Republic of Germany noted that extreme right-wing terrorism and violent extremism is not just a domestic issue. “It is exceptionally clear that right-wing and white supremacist extremists are well-connected transnationally, with global interconnectedness growing in at least five areas,” said Professor Cynthia Miller-Idriss. Those areas include crowdsourcing funds online; increased sharing of tactics, techniques, and procedures for attacks; increased cross-national recruitment for combat; increased sharing of manifestos and livestreamed attacks; and increased global gateways to extremist youth scenes in cultural areas such as music festivals and combat sports tournaments, contributing to more networked relationships.
This was followed by statements from practitioners in the field. The Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Professor E. Tendayi Chiume stressed “any action taken by [the CTC] and other UN actors to address ‘the emerging threat posed by violent extremism motivated by intolerance, or racism’ must first address the fundamental issues that go to the core of the C/PVE regime,” and called on the Committee to meaningfully engage with the human rights machinery of the United Nations in this regard. This was followed by Mr. Jacek Purski, President of Instytut Bezpieczeństwa Społecznego, who noted that most practitioners are tackling this issue in an old-fashioned manner – that extremists are constantly evolving and innovating. He called on policymakers and practitioners to approach this fight in a more tailored manner, highlighting that a number of civil society organizations in the field are doing excellent work in this area, but their expert voices need to be heard on the international and policymaking levels.
The meeting concluded with Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director, Michèle Coninsx, calling for continued engagement on this issue, stating, “It is essential that this expert-level conversation not prove to be a ‘one-off’.” ASG Coninsx emphasized CTED’s continuous support to the Committee and Member States in tackling the threats posed by terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
The concept note of the virtual open briefing is available here.
The agenda of the virtual open briefing is available here.
You can watch the virtual open briefing here.