UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Counter-Terrorism


UN Entities

UN Observances & Events


 Treaties, Declarations & selected UN Documents

  • International Legal Instruments:
  • UN documents on “Counter-Terrorism”: https://www.un.org/counterterrorism/un-documents
  • UN documents on “Terrorism” – click here
  • A/71/858 (3 April 2017): Capability of the United Nations system to assist Member States in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy: Report of the Secretary-General: http://undocs.org/A/71/858
    Annexes (p. 20-58): 1. Written replies from Member States for inclusion in the report of the Secretary-General on the capability of the United Nations system to assist Member States in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy — 2. Terms of reference for the Advisory Board of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre.
  • A/70/674 (24 December 2015): Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism: Report of the Secretary-General: http://undocs.org/A/70/674
  • A/RES/60/288 (Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 8 September 2006): United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy: http://undocs.org/A/RES/60/288
    Summary: Decides, without prejudice to the continuation of the discussion in its relevant committees of all their agenda items related to terrorism and counter-terrorism, to undertake the following steps for the effective follow-up of the Strategy: (a) To launch the Strategy at a high-level segment of its 61st session; (b) To examine in 2 years progress made in the implementation of the Strategy, and to consider updating it to respond to changes, recognizing that many of the measures contained in the Strategy can be achieved immediately, some will require sustained work through the coming few years and some should be treated as long-term objectives; (c) To invite the Secretary-General to contribute to the future deliberations of the General Assembly on the review of the implementation and updating of the Strategy; (d) To encourage Member States, UN and other appropriate international, regional and subregional organizations to support the implementation of the Strategy, including through mobilizing resources and expertise; (e) To further encourage non-governmental organizations and civil society to engage, as appropriate, on how to enhance efforts to implement the Strategy; decides to include in the provisional agenda of its 62nd session an item entitled “The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy”.
  • A/60/825 (27 April 2006): Uniting Against Terrorism: Recommendations for a global counter-terrorism strategy; Report of the Secretary-General: http://undocs.org/A/60/825
    Submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 60/1. Annexes (p. 25-32): 1. Inventory of UN counter-terrorism activities — 2. Status of universal instruments related to the prevention and suppression of international terrorism.
  • A/59/565 (2 December 2004): A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility; Report of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change: http://undocs.org/A/59/565
    Summary: Transmits letter dated 1 Dec. 2004 from the Chair of the UN High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change enclosing the report of the Panel entitled “A more secure world: our shared responsibility”. Part 1 of the text on “Towards a new security consensus” identifies 3 basic pillars the case for collective security today rests on: i) threats without boundaries; ii) the limits of self-protection; and iii) sovereignty and responsibility. Part 2 on “Collective security and the challenge of prevention” identifies 6 clusters of threats with which the world must be concerned now and in the decades ahead: i) economic and social threats, including poverty, infectious diseases and environmental degradation; ii) inter-State conflict; iii) internal conflict, including civil war, genocide and other large-scale atrocities; iv) nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological weapons; v) terrorism; and vi) transnational organized crime. Part 3 on “Collective security and the use of force” addresses the circumstances in which effective collective security may require the backing of military force, and identifies 5 criteria of legitimacy. Part 4 on “A more effective UN for the 21st century” focuses on the issue of the UN reform, and states that recommendations that ignore underlying power realities will be doomed to failure or irrelevance, but recommendations that simply reflect raw distributions of power and make no effort to bolster international principles are unlikely to gain the widespread adherence required to shift international behaviour. Included annexes are: i) summary of recommendations; ii) Panel members and terms of reference; iii) Panel secretariat; and iv) Panel meetings, regional consultations and issue workshops.


Selected Statements and Speeches of the Secretary-General


Selected Publications available online


Databases & Research Guides


May 2023
not an official document – for information only

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