HR along with Civil society partners accord to set event against counter terrorism

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(Khalid Sibtain)
Islamabad :  Statement by Mr. Aamir Khan, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN at the Virtual dialogue with human rights and civil society partners on building a better paradigm to prevent and counter terrorism Event organized by UN office of Counter Terrorism, says a press release received here today from New York. Session: The imperative of respecting human rights in counter-terrorism efforts Thank you, Madam Rapporteur, for giving me the opportunity to speak today. I would like to thank the Mission of Spain and UNOCT for organizing this important event. I cannot agree more with Ambassador Bob Rae of Canada who said earlier today that we cannot throw out the imperative of Rule of Law which underpins that the CT measures have to pass the test of UN Charter and the international law. I would disagree with those states that tend to believe that by displacing international human rights law and international humanitarian law, we can deal with “terrorists” and “terrorism” more appropriately. This is a flawed notion and has already caused more harm than benefit in the global fight against terrorism. There is no doubt that there is an adverse impact on the overall protection of human rights caused by some domestic counter-terrorism measures and few provisions of regulatory landscape adopted under Chapter VII resolutions of the Security Council. The global framework for countering terrorism is underpinned by a distinct set of rules provided for in the international law. It is regrettable that some states have denied the applicability of either the international human rights law in conflict situations altogether or have objected to the application of common Article III thus eroding the protections provided for within the international law. This has raised serious concerns for application of provisions of international law relating to right to life, torture, detentions and renditions as well as right to health, education and freedom of religion, belief and association. This lack of protection is further compounded by lack of applicability of independent accountability mechanisms for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, for those who are most glaringly involved in these international crimes. The most negative, disproportionate and indiscriminate impact of CT policies is on peoples in occupied territories where occupation powers are employing policies based on demographic changes, illegal settlements, evictions, double lock-downs and military siege in violation of international law and UN Charter with a view to advance apartheid policies to further their illegal control of occupied territories. I also want to highlight that in some cases the responses by the Security Council to terrorism have led to far-reaching legal and quasi legal implications for Member States, individuals and the UN organizations providing humanitarian assistance and relief in situations afflicted by conflict and violence. Unfortunately, the General Assembly has not been able to reverse this trend and promote the rule of law in a way that countering terrorism measures fully comply with international law. The General Assembly, being the most representative UN body, should ensure respect for human rights while countering terrorism. I agree with the assertion that we will have to shift from the paradigm of “security versus human rights” to the paradigm of addressing the root causes and deal with issues involved more holistically and comprehensively, and in accordance with the Rule of Law. In this regard, our delegation supports the proposal for deepening the rule of law capacity of the Office of Counter-Terrorism. We hope that the ongoing review of the Global Counter-terrorism Strategy will help address these shortcomings. Ends Below is the video link of the statement of DPR: