7949th Security Council Meeting: Threats to International Peace and Security

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24-May-2017 00:26:42
Unanimously adopting resolution 2354 (2017), Security Council urges member states to follow new guidelines on countering terrorist narratives, at 7949th meeting.

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Unanimously adopting a resolution today that featured a new framework developed by its Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Security Council urged Member States to follow a number of concrete guidelines aimed at countering the narratives used by terrorist groups and amplifying positive and credible alternatives to audiences vulnerable to extremist messages.

By the text, resolution 2354 (2017), which was co-sponsored by nearly 60 delegations, the Council welcomed the Committee’s “Comprehensive International Framework to Counter Terrorist Narratives” (document S/2017/375), submitted pursuant to a 2016 presidential statement (see Press Release SC/12355 of 11 May 2016). While urging Member States to follow the guidelines set out in the text, they were also called upon to respect the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, including respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States.

Noting that Member States themselves bore the primary responsibility in countering terrorist acts and violent extremism conducive to terrorism, the Council encouraged greater coordination and coherence with donors and recipients of counter-terrorism capacity-building. In addition, counter-narrative measures needed to be tailored to the specific circumstances of different contexts. States should consider undertaking efforts aimed at raising public awareness on the issue, amplifying positive counter-narratives and continuing research into the drivers of terrorism and violent extremism.

Further by the resolution’s terms, the Council requested the Counter-Terrorism Committee to compile existing good practices in countering terrorist narratives and maintain an up-to-date list of relevant national, regional and global initiatives, while directing it, with the support of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, to hold at least one annual review meeting on counter-narratives and make recommendations to Member States on how to build capacity in that area.

Following the adoption, a number of Council members pointed out that the text built upon a number of previous Council resolutions while “fortifying” them with concrete recommendations. In addition, delegates commended the text’s flexibility in encouraging States to design counter-narrative policies tailored to their own needs.

“What we’re doing today is not simply adopting another document to join the pile,” said Egypt’s representative, who also chairs the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Terrorist groups used narratives and ideologies to mobilize youth and justify their acts as “self-sacrifices”. Noting that a small group of States continued to violate resolutions by supporting terrorism, he stressed that the Council must deliver a message to the world and to terrorists that they were “simply dust in the eyes of humanity”, representing no religion, and were ultimately “doomed to disappear”.

The Russian Federation’s representative, recalling that recent victims of terrorism included civilians in Saint Petersburg and Manchester, pointed out that the resolution highlighted the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, including the inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of States. However, he warned that such violations would play into the hands of terrorists.

Ethiopia’s representative also underscored the need to fully respect the principle of non-interference in the affairs of States, in particular as countries developed and executed their counter-narrative measures. The text would help facilitate greater cooperation in countering terrorist narratives, while providing concrete guidance and highlighting the important role of education.

Also speaking were representatives of Sweden, Kazakhstan, Senegal and Uruguay.

The meeting began at 10:19 a.m. and ended at 10:45 a.m.
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