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  • UN Counterterrorism Framework: Key Programs and Tools
    33 the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy and its four pillars and encouraged non governmental organizations and civil society to engage as appropriate on how to enhance efforts to implement the Strategy Two years later the General Assembly conducted the second biennial review of the Strategy 34 reiterating that it remains the strategic framework and practical guidance on joint international efforts to counter terrorism It also recognized the need to enhance the role of the UN including the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force 35 CTITF with other international and regional organizations in international counterterrorism efforts Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force CTITF To assist UN members with the implementation its counterterrorism efforts the UN Secretary General created the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force CTITF 36 in 2005 The CTITF works to ensure overall coordination and coherence among at least two dozen entities throughout the UN system involved in counter terrorism efforts CTITF has a large mandate but limited staff and capabilities The General Assembly has called for enhancing the role of the Task Force and strengthening its coordination and capacity building efforts CTITF has developed working groups to help UN members implement the strategy Working groups including Addressing Radicalization and Extremism that Lead to Terrorism provides assistance in identifying how people become engaged in terrorist acts and ideas for undermining the appeal of terrorism Countering the Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes identifies stakeholders and partners to discuss the abuse of the internet for terrorist purposes and identify possible ways to combat this abuse Protecting Human Rights While Countering Terrorism promotes and protects human rights in the context of counter terrorism through the development of practical tools and facilitating an exchange of information on priority human rights concerns Strengthening the Protection of Vulnerable Targets establishes appropriate mechanisms to facilitate both the sharing of existing best practices and the development of further best practices to protect vulnerable targets Supporting and Highlighting Victims of Terrorism lays the foundation for a constructive dialogue between victims and UN members build solidarity between victims UN members the international community and civil society Tackling the Financing of Terrorism examines the various components of counterterrorism financing strategies including the Financial Action Task Force FATF recommendations Click here to find out What is the Financial Action Task Force and Why Nonprofits Should Care 37 The CTITF includes representatives from 31 international entities including Counter Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate CTED the Department of Peacekeeping Operations DPKO the Department of Political Affairs DPA the Department of Public Information DPI the International Monetary Fund IMF the 1267 Monitoring team the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights OHCHR the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism the United Nations Development Program UNDP the World Bank and the International Criminal Police Organization INTERPOL More about some of these groups in Other UN entities The Global Counterterrorism Forum The Global Counterterrorism Forum GCTF is a multilateral body with 30 founding members 29 countries plus the European Union from around the world Started in September 2011 the GCTF assists with implementation of the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy and is a leading body on non military multilateral action against terrorism It is still in its infancy but it has been reported that it will host three regional and two thematic working groups the latter focusing on the rule of law and the prevention of violent radical extremism The State Department s GCTF Fact Sheet 38 and related documents 39 reports speeches etc are available With its primary focus on capacity building the GCTF aims to increase the number of countries capable of dealing with the terrorist threats within their borders and regions The GCTF will facilitate sharing of best practices as part of a sustained effort to help the international community meet identified counterterrorism capacity building needs It will also sponsor a multilateral training and research center on violent prevention to be based in Abu Dhabi Protecting Human Rights While Countering Terrorism With many of the Security Council resolutions and other tools the focus of the counterterrorism approach is weighted toward security concerns But the protection of human rights and respect for the rule of law while combating terrorism has also been addressed by the UN bringing the overall counterterrorism framework towards a more balanced and comprehensive approach For example a March 2004 resolution 40 from the General Assembly r eaffirms that States must ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism complies with their obligations under international law in particular international human rights refugee and humanitarian law This complements other General Assembly resolutions like one from December 2011 titled Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism 40 In his April 2006 report Uniting Against Terrorism Recommendations for a Global Counterterrorism Strategy 41 the UN Secretary General said respecting human rights is essential to the fulfillment of all aspects of a counter terrorism strategy and emphasized that effective counter terrorism measures and the protection of human rights are not conflicting goals but complementary and mutually reinforcing ones The Security Council has also incorporated basic human rights protections in their programs In Resolution 1456 42 2003 the Security Council said that UN members must ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law and should adopt such measures in accordance with international law in particular international human rights refugee and humanitarian law This position has been reaffirmed in other resolutions such as Security Council Resolution 1624 23 2005 In May 2006 the Counter Terrorism Committee CTC adopted human rights policy guidance 43 saying it and its Executive Directorate CTED should Provide advice to the Committee including for its ongoing dialogue with States on their implementation of resolution 1373 on international human rights refugee and humanitarian law in connection with identification and implementation of effective measures to implement resolution 1373 Advise the Committee on how to ensure that any measures States take to implement the provisions of Security

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/805 (2016-02-16)
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  • Review of Legislative History Shows Treasury's Position on Frozen Charitable Funds Without Basis
    of section 201 cannot reasonably be read to mandate that terrorist assets be blocked in perpetuity It states simply that blocked assets shall be subject to execution or attachment in aid of execution We believe that the plain meaning of that language is to give terrorist victims who actually receive favorable judgments a right to execute against assets that would otherwise be blocked Thus although the statute applies broadly to every case in which a person has obtained a judgment it confers no entitlement on victims who have not yet obtained judgments Neither does it guarantee that any blocked assets will in fact be available when a particular victim seeks to execute on a judgment 13 III Charitable Assets Are Not Terrorist Assets Subject to a Blocked Assets Analysis Notwithstanding the holding in Smith there is a strong argument that charitable assets are not terrorist assets subject to the blocked assets analysis Rather charitable assets are held in trust prior to their dispensation for the intended charitable purpose If the donated funds were to be used for nefarious purposes then the trustees in charge have breached their fiduciary duty and corrective action is necessary to protect the charitable assets for charitable purposes When a U S organization is designated as a supporter of terrorism it automatically loses its tax exempt status under Section 501 c 3 of the Internal Revenue Code The organization is then likely to lose its charter under state law forcing dissolution Then IRS regulations require that all assets be turned used for charitable purposes consistent with the requirements of Section 501 c 3 14 There is nothing in TRIA to indicate it was intended to supersede these well established principles of tax law As a result TRIA does not apply to charitable assets but only terrorist assets Nor does TRIA statutorily require that frozen funds of charities be held indefinitely by the U S government in anticipation of a prospective judgment at an unknown time and from an unknown party Absent clear legal authority to hold the funds indefinitely Treasury has an obligation to consider the interests of well intentioned donors who collectively donated tens of millions of dollars to help needy beneficiaries the needs of beneficiaries and the relevant provisions of tax law Freezing charitable assets indefinitely is not only bad public policy but unjustified law IV The Absence of a Statute of Limitations Evinces TRIA s Inapplicability to Frozen Charitable Funds TRIA does not contain a statute of limitation provision limiting the time in which a party may file a claim against frozen assets 15 In contrast the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act which carves out an exception to foreign sovereign immunity whereby state assets are subject to satisfaction of judgments by victims of state sponsored terrorism imposes a ten year statute of limitations 16 TRIA was not intended to provide a mechanism to indefinitely freeze charitable funds for prospective claimants To that end TRIA does not set forth a limitation of time under which a prospective claimant may seek to satisfy a judgment Conversely that foreign states accused of sponsoring terrorism may recover their assets after the passage of ten years while American donors charitable funds can languish in frozen accounts is telling Treasury s untenable reliance on TRIA to indefinitely hold charitable assets only proves the need for regulations to address treatment of the frozen charitable assets in a manner consistent with charitable mission and donor intent Specifically Treasury must provide a lawful mechanism under which frozen charitable assets can be redirected to charitable purposes after appeals related to designation are exhausted and a statute of limitations expires V Sparse Evidence of Congressional Intent to Preserve Assets for Victims of Terrorism The sparse evidence of Congressional intent to preserve assets of non state terrorist organizations to compensate victims of terrorism is clearly limited to satisfying civil judgments obtained by victims of terrorism This leaves open the question of how long Treasury is permitted to control the frozen funds in the absence of judgments Contrary to Poncy s statements TRIA s legislative history fails to provide an answer Representative Mel Watt from North Carolina proposed the relevant amendment to TRIA In the House debates on November 29 2001 Representative Chris Cannon states the following intent behind supporting Mr Watts amendment I rise today in support of the rule and the underlying legislation The rule provides for the continued availability of insurance against terrorism risks and addresses multiple insurance and liability issues arising out of the September 11 attacks This is a good rule that incorporates changes made by the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on the Judiciary to the original bill I would like to speak about some of those important provisions that fell within the Committee on the Judiciary jurisdiction First by working with the gentleman from Ohio Chairman Oxley and the gentleman from Wisconsin Chairman Sensenbrenner we were able to expand language in the original bill dealing with the use of frozen terrorist assets to compensate victims of terrorism This change to language offered by the gentleman from North Carolina Mr Watt brings the bill into line with an amendment I offered earlier in earlier legislation that was accepted by the Committee on the Judiciary this fall It was also language that was approved by the House on suspension in the 106th Congress The provision in the bill today will allow equal access to the frozen assets of terrorists terrorist organizations and terrorist sponsor states for American victims of international terrorism who obtain judgments against those terrorist parties In addition the Committee on the Judiciary added important litigation management provisions to deal with the legal aftermath of a major terrorist attack This is a commonsense recognition that major terrorist attacks are not garden variety tort cases and that there is a compelling national interest in setting rules and limits for how lawsuits arising from such attacks proceed Exposing American citizens and insurers to

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/592 (2016-02-16)
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  • Impact on Women: Counterterrorism Laws and Policies Restricting Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Work
    women are taking in these global hot spots to improve their lives and their communities and explains how empowering legislation would allow U S humanitarian and peacebuilding groups to partner with these women to create lasting change It is widely understood that that women are disproportionately impacted by armed conflict but are also known as effective peacebuilders Women in conflict zones are standing up and taking charge of improving their lives and their communities At the same time official U S government policy takes the position that women should not be seen as just passive recipients of its programs However U S aid groups working with or on behalf of women have been hindered both in terms of access and a decrease in donations The U S prohibition on material support of terrorism and sanctions laws block legitimate humanitarian and peacebuilding projects and prevent money from flowing to these groups Changes in U S law are needed so that we can support women working to improve conditions in extremist held areas and offer alternatives to armed violence Legislative reform could allow civil society to address the root causes of the issues surrounding women in conflict and create positive lasting change

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/1336 (2016-02-16)
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  • Send by email | Charity & Security Network
    sensitive Switch to audio verification Home page Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest News C SN

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/printmail/1336 (2016-02-16)
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  • Mapping Listed Terrorist Groups and Humanitarian Crises
    conflict mediation But the laws designed to starve the terrorists also make it nearly impossible for humanitarian actors to reach or offer assistance to civilians living in territory controlled by a blacklisted group That means that in conflict zones or natural disaster areas where these groups are active providing medical services or distributing non medicinal necessities such as clean water tents blankets food can be prohibited Click on one of

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/1062 (2016-02-16)
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  • Problems with Humanitarian Access Persist in Syria
    parties involved for want of a political resolution to reach at least a basic agreement on humanitarian aid MSF said in a March 2013 press release 10 Responding to this crisis is now our number one priority said Oxfam s chief executive Mark Goldring 11 in May 2013 But providing an appropriate humanitarian response is extremely difficult Restrictions on access mean far too many vulnerable people are not getting the help they desperately need he added Valerie Amos 12 UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs blames ongoing violence international donor funding shortfalls and a failure to provide safe access for aid delivery for preventing aid from reaching Syrian civilians devastated by the conflict The needs are rising at an alarming pace and we are not able to keep up The combination of insecurity administrative hurdles and insufficient capacity is taking its toll she said The UN has criticized the Assad s government for refusing to allow UN agencies to enter opposition controlled areas from neighboring countries requiring them instead to make perilous trips across conflict lines You cannot negotiate the 54 checkpoints between Damascus and Aleppo everyday with the quantity of aid that Aleppo needs But you can drive it in 1 hour from Turkey efficiently and effectively We need those cross border routes OCHA Operations Director John Ging 13 said in April 2013 U S Response Despite concerns that some aid 14 could fall into the hands of Jabhat al Nusra the U S and other countries have promised hundreds of millions of dollar in assistance to the people of Syria In May 2013 the Obama administration announced 15 it will provide an additional 100 million for humanitarian aid for displaced Syrians bringing the total commitment of U S humanitarian aid since the civil war began to over 500 million Much of this aid is not marked as originating from America because as Nancy Lindborg USAID Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance explained at two March 2013 congressional hearings on the crisis to protect our humanitarian partners to ensure the aid can continue and reach those in need we are not branding much of our assistance The U S has also promised nearly 250 million 16 in non lethal assistance to opposition forces on items such as body armor night vision goggles and advanced communications equipment but few specifics about this aid have been made public In late March 2013 two bipartisan bills 17 were introduced in Congress that would boost humanitarian aid and give support to Syrian opposition forces In the Senate the Syria Democratic Transition Act of 2013 calls for increased humanitarian aid and providing vetted opposition groups with non lethal military equipment and training on human rights and international laws In the House the Free Syria Act of 2013 would provide humanitarian and economic aid to Syrians displaced by the conflict and up to 150 million in military and non lethal security assistance to appropriately vetted

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/1058 (2016-02-16)
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  • Two Bipartisan Bills on Aiding Syrians | Charity & Security Network
    to Syrians displaced by the conflict and up to 150 million in military and non lethal security assistance to appropriately vetted opposition groups The Syria Democratic Transition Act of 2013 S 617 was introduced by Sens Bob Casey D PA and Marco Rubio R FL on March 19 It finds that security concerns are a major obstacle to aid distribution across much of the country In a section about humanitarian principles it says that U S assistance should be impartial neutral and independent and be carried out by intergovernmental and nongovernmental international humanitarian organizations in partnership with local communities and indigenous organizations It is currently before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee The Free Syria Act of 2013 H R 1327 was introduced by Reps Eliot Engel D NY and Mike Rogers R MI on March 21 It is widely believed that this bill faces an uphill battle in Congress where both parties are divided over sending arms to Syria The U S has already authorized 385 million in humanitarian aid for Syria and 114 million in direct aid to the rebels including food medicine and communications gear Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Two_Bipartisan_Bills_Aiding_Syrians (2016-02-16)
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  • Report Summary: Safeguarding Humanitarianism in Armed Conflict | Charity & Security Network
    by making it illegal to engage in negotiations with listed terrorist groups that control territory even when it is limited to arranging access to civilians Unintentional leakage of aid to these groups can also be treated as a serious offense leading to 15 years in jail and freezing of all a charity s funds effectively shutting them down The broad ban on engagement with listed groups runs afoul of international humanitarian law which calls for only temporary securityrestrictions on access to civilians But U S restrictions impose a blanket permanent ban instead The only significant relief valve that the U S deploys a license from the Treasury Department waiving the restrictions imposed by law is too slow to respond to crises and disasters It also frequently imposes impractical conditions on the license making the overall process ineffective and costly U S counterterrorism laws also fail to recognize the neutral and independent status that charitable groups require to operate safely and effectively in conflict zones Many U S based charities and non governmental organizations NGOs have called for the reform of counterterrorism laws that impede their work During the 2011 famine in Somalia the International Rescue Committee called for the U S to remove legal barriers to providing aid in Somalia because Private aid agencies have had to leave areas of Southern Somalia where al Shabaab is in control or risk violating U S anti terrorism provisions Jeremy Konyndyk Director of Policy and Advocacy for Mercy Corps said that U S counterterrorism laws have thrown up significant roadblocks to the humanitarian response and impeded preparedness in Somalia Members of Congress from both political parties are aware of the unintended consequences of the blanket bans on engagement with listed groups and have urged corrective action In a letter to Attorney General Eric

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/SafeguardingHumanitarianism_Summary (2016-02-16)
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