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In the nearly two decades since 9/11, the international community has implemented counter-terrorism laws and policies intended to make the world safer. Unfortunately, these measures have at times violated human rights, hampered peacebuilding, and obstructed delivery of humanitarian and development assistance. Two decades on, and with the Covid-19 crisis now reshaping the world, it is critical that we take stock of how we can improve counter-terrorism measures while protecting rights, facilitating delivery of aid, and building peaceful societies.

This High-Level Convening on UN Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights on June 11, 2020 will bring together representatives of UN Member States, UN offices, and civil society to assess the impact of counter-terrorism measures on human rights, peacebuilding, and humanitarian and development assistance. Participants will also examine the effectiveness and inclusivity of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and UN counter-terrorism bodies, reflect on the implications of UN counter-terrorism policies shaping Covid-19 responses, and identify priority areas for reforming the UN counter-terrorism architecture.

By assembling diverse stakeholders, this event aims to foster discussion on how together we can move toward a more inclusive, people-centered approach to security in a post Covid-19 world. We also hope it will lead to an improved UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in the 75th Session of the General Assembly.


THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 2020; 9 AM -12 PM (Eastern Daylight Time)

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Plenary Opening Session

  • Ms. Hina Jilani, co-founder of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Women’s Action Forum and former UN Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders
  • Ambassador Kais Kabtani, Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations
  • Ms. Navi Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Ambassador Agustín Santos Maraver, Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations
  • Moderator: Ms. Vivian Newman Pont, Executive Director, Center for Law, Justice, and Society (Dejusticia), Colombia
  • 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Thematic Breakout Sessions

    Breakout Session 1: Understanding the Impacts of UN Counter-Terrorism Measures on Human Rights, Humanitarian Assistance, and Peacebuilding

  • Ms. Hamsatu Allamin, Executive Director, Allamin Foundation, Nigeria
  • Mr. Joel Charny, Executive Director, Norwegian Refugee Council-USA
  • Ms. Sophie Haspeslagh, Assistant Professor, American University in Cairo, member of Security Policy Alternatives Network
  • Moderator: Ms. Letta Tayler, Senior Researcher and counterterrorism lead, Crisis and Conflict Division, Human Rights Watch
  • Breakout Session 2: A Human Rights-based Approach to Victims

  • Mr. Naseer Ahmed Faiq, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations
  • Ms. Sara Hossain, lawyer at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and an honorary executive director of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust
  • Mr. David Izquierdo Ortiz de Zárate, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Spain to the United Nations
  • Ms. Jessica Murphy, September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
  • Mr. Matt Pollard, Senior Legal Adviser & UN Representative, Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers
  • Moderator: Mr. Martin O’Brien, Director, Social Change Initiative
  • Breakout Session 3: Assessing the impact of adopting a 'security' lens in response to Covid-19

  • Dr. Sehar Iqbal, Founder and Director, Sajid Iqbal Foundation (Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir)
  • Dr Mutuma Ruteere, Director, Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies (Kenya)
  • Martin Scheinin, first United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism
  • Moderator: Ben Hayes, Director, AWO a new data rights agency; fellow, Transnational Institute
  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Plenary Closing Session

  • Ms. Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism
  • Ms. Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and Head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in New York
  • Mr. David Lewis, Executive Secretary, Financial Action Task Force
  • Ambassador Olof Skoog, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations
  • Moderator: Ms. Yasmine Ahmed, Executive Director, Rights and Security International
  • Thursday, 11 June 2020

    • New York 09:00 - 12:00
    • Los Angeles 06:00 - 09:00
    • Mexico City 08:00 - 11:00
    • London 14:00 - 17:00
    • Geneva 15:00 - 18:00
    • Amman 16:00 - 19:00
    • Addis Ababa 16:00 - 19:00
    • Bangkok 20:00 - 23:00
    • Sydney 23:00 - 02:00

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    Organizer CSO Advocacy on UN CT


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