In the lead up to the 2020 Virtual UN Counter-Terrorism Week, the Global Center launched the summary findings and key recommendations of the fifth iteration of its Blue Sky report series. With the generous support of the governments of the Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland, the report builds on the Global Center’s previous analyses of the UN’s counter terrorism efforts. The key recommendations of the forthcoming report suggest concrete ways the United Nations can better leverage its comparative advantages to improve policy development, inter-agency coordination, delivery, and impact of counterterrorism and preventing violent extremism efforts in a manner that systemically accounts for human rights and civil society engagement.

The Global Center’s Executive Director Eelco Kessels and Chief of Strategy Melissa Lefas were joined by Assistant Secretary-General Michèle Coninsx, Executive Director, UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate; Mr. Raffi Gregorian, Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General and Director, UN Office of Counter-Terrorism; Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism; Professor Willibroad Dze-Ngwa, University of Yaoundé I, Africa Network against Illiteracy, Conflict and Human Rights Abuse, Cameroon; and Ms. Mai E’Leimat, Founder and CEO of Edmaaj, Development and Social Responsibility Consulting, Jordan. Ambassador Stephan Husy, Ambassador-at-Large for International Counterterrorism, Switzerland opened the event and Mr. Huib Mijnarends, Special Envoy on Counter-Terrorism, the Netherlands, delivered closing remarks.

Recognizing the importance of reinforcing the promotion and protection of human rights and the rule of law underpinning the Strategy and that the United Nations places a renewed focus on policy leadership and coordination to support the Strategy’s implementation, embedded in the wider peace and security pillar, Blue Sky V hones in on four focus areas:

• Calibrating the UN Counterterrorism Architecture
• Situating UN Counterterrorism Efforts Within the Prevention Framework
• Engaging and Supporting Civil Society and Mainstream Human Rights
• Assessing the Implementation of the Strategy

The panelists reflected on the report’s summary findings and recommendations, joined by over 175 participants via Zoom and YouTube livestream.

The full Blue Sky V report will be released in late summer 2020.

For more information about the Blue Sky process and report, please contact Ms. Franziska Praxl at fpraxl@globalcenter.org.

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