As the United Nations nears the end of a 10-year review of its 2006 Counter-Terrorism Strategy and deliberations of its Platform for Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, input to the process submitted by the peacebuilding community expresses concern with the "cognitive dissonance" between states' counterterror (CT), countering violent extremism (CVE) and development agenda.
"For decades, government policies and actions in service of CT have often fueled the precise grievances that led individuals into groups that states now call 'violent extremist' organizations, the very groups that states are now allegedly trying to counter," states the input, submitted by the Alliance for Peacebuilding June 20.
A new blog published by our colleagues at United Muslim Relief outlines the impact that bank de-risking is having on humanitarian aid delivery. In "Humanitarian Aid Threatened by Bank De-Risking," the authors explain that many banks avoid liability under federal counter-terrorism financing regulations by dropping any client doing work in areas deemed "high risk." This practice "hinders and endangers the work of disaster relief organizations and other NPOs," the article states.
Many organizations have struggled to maintain their work in conflict-ridden areas "because financial institutions have closed their accounts with little to no warning and, oftentimes, cancel transactions that are time-sensitive," the article explains. While banks undergo a risk-benefit calculation to determine whether to retain an account, the human lives at risk are not considered.
Read the full blog here.
In an April 2016 report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published a variety of recommendations for “the creation and maintenance of a safe and enabling environment for civil society.” The report came in response to a request from the Human Rights Council, which recognized the vital role of civil society in encouraging good governance and contributing to the creation of peaceful democratic societies.
The report includes contributions from all types of actors, from Member States to human rights institutions to diverse civil society organizations, and reflects examples of good practices from all regions across the globe. The report also discusses the reasons for protecting civil society space, including among them the mandates of international human rights law, enhanced social cohesion and minority participation, greater citizen engagement in decision-making, and increased business and economic success based on transparency and access to information.