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Chair’s Report - Disarmament and International Security
Question of International Terrorism
Terrorism - The unlawful use of violence or intimidation, especially against civilians,
in the pursuit of political aims.1
The Issue
Terrorist groups operate all around the globe and they do not share a common goal.
Radical ideas often motivate terrorist to perform despicable acts. Some claim these
ideas have sprouted from religion, but this is actively opposed by many religious
Most notably terrorist groups are dividing and
duplicating into more and more groups, creating more
political and economic instability in the Middle East
but most importantly claiming the lives of innocent
civilians. Terrorist groups are also becoming an
international threat as well, threatening the security of
countries all over the world who don’t share their
radical beliefs. This issue involves many countries
within the United Nations, so it should be a joint effort
to combat this real threat. This threat has been
conveyed through terrible atrocities and crimes
against humanity, including attacks in Brussels, Berlin
and Paris in recent years, plus atrocities where we still
feel the horrendous effects every day, such as the
9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York and Washington and the 7/7 bombings
in London.
However there is great difficulty in defining a terrorist organisation. In the current
Syria civil war there are estimated to be over 1,000 different groups fighting, some
such as ISIL also known as Da’esh who are designated a terroist organistion, and
Oxford English Dictionary, 2017
some such as the Free Syrian Army who are not. The UN has an extensive list
available here:
United Nations action:
The most recent United Nations action on this topic focused on terrorism and it took
place between the 30th of June and the 1st of July in 2016. Two things happened in
this General Assembly meeting, one was a review of the United Nations Global
Counter-Terrorism Strategy, whilst the other was a personal plan of action from the
Secretary-General, where he detailed his plan to prevent violent extremism. More
historical United Nations action has included the resolution “1373” which was a
resolution which first established the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Committee, and
even more developments took place five years later when all of the Member States
of the General Assembly agreed on one strategy to fight the ever-increasing threat of
terrorism. This was called the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and it has
been commended for its unique style and simplicity, as it only contains four
significant points. These are:
1. Addressing conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.
2. Preventing and combatting terrorism.
3. Building Member States’ capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and to
strengthen the role of the United Nations system in this regard (fundamentally
improving the security and strength of each member state.)
4. Ensuring the respect for human rights and the rule of law as the fundamental
basis for countering terrorism.
The Security Council also play a pivotal role in reacting to terrorist groups and
condemning their actions. For example they did so in very strong terms in UNSC
2249 which called for:
“Member States that have the capacity to do so… to redouble and coordinate their
efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also
known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings,
and entities associated with Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups, as designated by
the United Nations Security Council… and to eradicate the safe haven they have
established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria;”2
All Security Council resolutions are available at:
United Nations Security Council, UNSC Resolution 2249, adopted on 20 November 2015 [online] available at