The United Nations has initiated several Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, developed organizational strategy documents, and mandated internal committees in order to establish a common basis for the 193 Member States to combat terrorist use of the internet in their individual countries. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that have shaped counter-terrorism regulation at the international level include resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001), 1566 (2004), 1624 (2005), 2178 (2014), 2322 (2016), 2396 (2017). On 28 September 2001, the Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) was created through the adoption of UNSC resolution 1373 (2001). The UN’s main global instrument is the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, adopted in 2006 under the General Assembly’s Resolution 60/288. The Strategy is designed to enhance national, regional and international efforts to counter terrorism in general, including within cyberspace. On 15 June 2017, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism was established through the adoption of General Assembly resolution 71/291. The Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) and the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre, initially established in the Department of Political Affairs were moved into the Office of Counter-Terrorism. In 2018, the CTITF was replaced by the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact.
STRATEGIES, POLICIES AND LAWS
The conference aimed at strengthening international counter-terrorism cooperation, including in cyberspace.
Unanimous agreement on the adoption of Resolution 2341 (2017), which calls on Member States to address threats against critical infrastructure.
Report of the Secretary General containing recommendations on how to review and implement the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted in 2006.
Resolution 2178 prescribes that terrorism should be criminalized by Member States. In particular, it focuses on the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, while also acknowledging the role of the internet in their recruitment processes.
The UNODC report classifies the means by which terrorists use the internet into six categories: propaganda (including recruitment, radicalization and incitement to terrorism); financing; training; planning (including through secret communication and open source information); execution; and cyberattacks.
The CTITF report addresses three main subjects: general cybercrime legislation; general counter-terrorism legislation; and internet-specific counter-terrorism legislation.
The strategy is designed to enhance national, regional, and international efforts to counter terrorism in general, including within cyberspace.
The Secretary-General acknowledges that terrorism is a main challenge to the United Nations and urges all Member States to take action.
Unlike Article 2 of the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (1998), Article 2 (1) of the Draft Comprehensive Convention Against International Terrorism does not mention physical weapons, allowing room for cyber terrorism to be included in a convention.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) oversees the implementation of Resolution 1373.
The Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) assists the CTC with expertise on resolution 1373 and supports Member States with technological assistance to counter terrorism.
The CTITF’s goal is to make sure that each of the 38 task forces has all the necessary legislative support. It also provides expertise on different policies and strategies.
The OHCHR office speaks out against human rights violations and offers a platform for recognizing and advancing strategies in the fight against human right offenses.
The Office of the Ombudsperson assists individuals and groups in getting removed from the Security Council’s ISIL (Da’esh) and al-Qaeda Sanctions List.
The UNCCT offers support to countries in applying the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact “aims to strengthen a common action approach to coordination and coherence in the counter terrorism and prevention of violent extremism (PVE) work of the United Nations system, and to strengthen support to Member States at their request”.
The UNOCT enables coordination between all 38 counter-terrorism implementation task forces. It also equips them with the necessary resources and skills.
The TPB works with Member States in legal and regulatory counter-terrorism efforts.
The ITU has provided a Toolkit for legislators explaining how to strategically deal with the misuse of cyberspace by terrorists.