Human Rights First Welcomes Ambassador Haley’s support for U.N. Counterterrorism Reform 

Human Rights First welcomed U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley’s support for the U.N. secretary-general’s proposals to reform the U.N.’s counterterrorism architecture. The plan would reaffirm the United Nations’ commitment to a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy rooted in the “protection of human rights for all.” Human Rights First urges Ambassador Haley and the Trump administration to play a leading role in the adoption and implementation of a global counterterrorism strategy based on universal values and the rule of law.

“It is encouraging to see Ambassador Haley speaking out in favor of a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy with an emphasis on preventive measures rooted in human rights, support for civil society, and the rule of law,” said Human Rights First’s Neil Hicks.

Speaking in the UN General Assembly Ambassador Haley noted that the United Nations can “contribute to stopping terrorist recruitment…by partnering with civil society organizations that speak out against violent extremism.” She also stated that “the UN’s work to promote respect for human rights, including freedom of expression, and the rule of law remains essential to preventing radicalization.”

Secretary-General Guterres pledged that his new counterterrorism proposal is designed to improve the efficient implementation of the United Nation’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and to ensure that “the important work on Preventing Violent Extremism is firmly rooted in the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.” In his remarks the secretary-general observed how widespread the scourge of terrorism has become, stressing that “terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any nationality, culture religion or ethnic group.”

Human Rights First urges the United States to actively participate in multilateral efforts to combat terrorism, such as those proposed by the secretary-general, which are more effective in protecting Americans and reducing the global threat of terrorism than the counterproductive and divisive proposals from the Trump Administration. The president has indicated he would replace countering violent extremism (CVE) efforts with an exclusive focus on “radical Islamic extremism.”

“Discrimination can have no part in any effective counterterrorism strategy,” added Hicks. “Ambassador Haley now needs to follow up her encouraging words with actions to show clear U.S. support for an effective, multilateral, values-based counterterrorism strategy.”

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