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The interrelationship between counter-terrorism frameworks and international humanitarian law

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On 10 January 2022, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) issued a study on “The interrelationship between counter-terrorism frameworks and international humanitarian lawPDF”.

The study, prepared in accordance with Security Council resolution 2617 (2021), builds on CTED’s engagement with Member States and other relevant stakeholders, including in the context of the country assessment visits conducted on behalf of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. It also benefits from a contribution by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which provided an anonymized analysis and synthesis of information collected from the humanitarian community on the impact of counter-terrorism measures on humanitarian operations conducted in situations of armed conflict where terrorist groups are active.

The study maps the references to international humanitarian law contained in Council resolutions addressing threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. Based on that mapping, the study explores (without seeking to provide an exhaustive analysis) two pertinent issues repeatedly addressed in the relevant resolutions: (i) the impact of counter-terrorism measures on humanitarian action carried out in armed conflict contexts in a manner consistent with international law; and (ii) the linkages between terrorism and serious violations of international humanitarian law, with a view to promoting comprehensive accountability for terrorist conduct.

The study is intended to serve as a basis for the discussion of issues relating to the intersection between counter-terrorism frameworks and international humanitarian law and ways to support Member States in their efforts to implement Security Council resolutions on counter-terrorism in compliance with international humanitarian law.

CTED will build on this analysis with the aim of supporting the Committee’s work to promote implementation of the relevant Council resolutions in accordance with international humanitarian law. In this respect, CTED is committed to:

• Explore ways to continue to expand its dialogue within the United Nations system and with international and regional humanitarian actors on the interrelationship between counter-terrorism and international humanitarian law and on ways to ensure that all measures taken to counter terrorism comply with international law, including international humanitarian law.

• Make full use of the Committee’s assessment and stocktaking tools and its dialogue with Member States in order to further its assessment and thematic analysis, as well as to identify and promote relevant good practices.

• Continue its mainstreaming of international humanitarian law, as applicable and appropriate, into its assessment tools and thematic analysis, and facilitate the delivery of relevant technical assistance by United Nations entities.

• Continue to identify and assess issues, trends, and developments relating to the implementation of the relevant Council resolutions.