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Jakarta Post

The UN and civil society's role in countering terrorism

  • Abdul Wahid Maktub and Alistair Millar

Jakarta   /   Wed, November 18 2009   /  01:13 pm

Terrorism is a real threat and states must address it robustly and effectively, but civil society also has important roles to play particularly in raising awareness of the threat, addressing underlying conditions that breed terrorism, and ensuring respect for human rights. It is therefore regrettable that some governments have denied these groups the political space, freedom, and information needed to engage effectively. In some instances, "counterterrorism" has even been used as a pretense to crack down on civil society and to justify restrictions on freedom of association, speech, and assembly. Civil society organizations, for their part, have played a critical role in encouraging governments to calibrate their responses to terrorism to be effective against those who mean harm without eroding human rights and the rule of law. In 2006, with that challenge in mind, the Un...