UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan played a key role in the adoption of a UN resolution this week that includes human rights and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for fighting terrorism.

The 193-member UN General Assembly concluded its 8th biannual review process of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS) in New York this week, with the adoption of a resolution that underlines four pillars of a global strategy to defeat terrorism.

Besides demanding respect for human rights and the rule of law, the resolution also calls for addressing the conditions conducive to terrorism’s spread, preventing and combating it and building states’ capacity and strengthening the United Nations system’s role to do so.

The General Assembly also encouraged member states to develop programmes enhancing dialogue among civilisations and interreligious and intercultural understanding and respect as important counter-terrorism cooperation elements.

According to a UN report, released during the weekend, the representative of Pakistan told the gathering that his country has been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism and has sacrificed more than 80,000 lives. “Spoilers in our neighbourhood continue to target us,” he added.

The Pakistani representative urged the United Nations, particularly the Security Council, to address situations of prolonged, unresolved conflicts and foreign occupation.

“There is a continued campaign to portray struggles for self-determination and national liberation as terrorism in order to justify the oppression of people under foreign occupation,” he said.

Pakistan urged the world body to clearly define terrorism and distinguish it from legitimate struggles for national liberation and self-determination. It regretted that proposals to include references to Islamophobia and racism in the text were “side-lined”, which raised serious questions about the “cherry-picking approach” in finalising the text.

“Failure to condemn acts of incitement and hatred sends a clear message that terrorism against Muslims will be tolerated,” the Pakistani representative said.

The UN report also included the statement of the Indian representative, although India disagreed with the draft resolution, circulated by the co-facilitators, including Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2023

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