ACCORD Presents at the Global UN-Counter Terrorism Strategy Workshop in NYC

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Mr. Karanja Mbugua represented ACCORD and presented at the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy: Raising Awareness and Exploring the Role for Civil Society in Contributing to its Implementation workshop from 21-22 July 2008. 

The forum was organised by the Centre on Global Counter-Terrorism Cooperation, and was held at the International Peace Institute’s Trygve Lie Centre for Peace, Security and Development 777 UN Plaza in New York.

The workshop aimed to explore the role of the civil society organisations (CSOs) in the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The strategy was adopted unanimously by the UN General Assembly on 8 September 2006 and is premised on four pillars. These are: 1) measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; 2) measures to prevent and combat terrorism; 3) measures to build states’ capacity to prevent and combat terrorism; and 4) measures to ensure respect for human rights for and the rule of law as the fundamental basis of the fight against terrorism.

Some of the conditions recognised by the first pillar as conducive to the spread of terrorism are prolonged unresolved conflicts, political exclusion, socio-economic marginalisation and ethnic, national and religious discrimination. ACCORD’s interest in the forum arose from the fact that resolution of prolonged unresolved conflicts is central to the organisation’s interventions in Africa. Indeed, the institution has programmes in some of the African countries that have been engulfed by intractable conflicts and have featured prominently in the terrorism debate.

Besides recognising the linkage between prolonged conflicts and the spread of terrorism, the Strategy explicitly recognises that many CSOs are implementing programmes that are essentially countering the spread of terrorism without being aware that these programmes are part of global counter-terrorism measures. Such programmes include mitigation of prolonged conflicts. It is precisely this awareness that the workshop aimed to raise.

The New York global workshop was a continuation of the regional forums that have been held in various parts of the world. The Southern Africa forum was held on 17-18 September 2007 in Benoni in Johannesburg, South Africa. ACCORD participated and presented at the forum.