Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2011: UN Security Council

UN Security Council

  • The United Nations Security Council's decade-long counter-terror policy has been counter-productive, says the world body's Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

  • In focus in the report are the sanctions regime established by the UNSC as a response to the threat from the al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan and the 9/11 bombings in the United States. Under Resolutions 1267 and 1373, the member states are required to enact laws freezing the assets of individuals and entities that finance terrorist operations, or are associated with extremist bodies in any other manner.

  • The Rapporteur argues that the overall sanctions regime amounts to a comprehensive legislation insofar as its prescriptions are unlimited in time and space. What was originally a reaction to a specific threat to peace from the al-Qaida and the Taliban has expanded and become an open-ended system that transcended territorial boundaries of states.

  • India's criticism was that the exercise of legislative power by the 15-member Security Council could upset the balance vis-a-vis the General Assembly.

  • Moreover, the application of listing procedures for terrorist individuals and groups as also the denial of the right to appeal have drawn flak from the Council of Europe and the national human rights bodies. To that extent, both the regimes (under Resolutions 1267 and 1373) pose a threat to the protection of rights and the maintenance of international rule of law, says the Rapporteur.

  • The risk that charity aid might be identified as indirectly funding terrorist outfits has served as an impediment to garnering global support for the Millennium Development Goals.

  • Given the absence of a universal definition of terrorism, the broad-based and inclusive UN treaty system might provide a more effective avenue for global cooperation in combating terrorism than the Security Council.

  • In the long run, this may ensure that the UN member states would discharge their multilateral obligations.

Courtesy: The Hindu and Times of India