Without diminishing this obligation, it is also the duty of the UN to protect human rights in the course of pursuing counter-terrorist activities.
For this reason, the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy has been instituted. In the 2005 Madrid Summit, then UN Secretary-General echoed the unanimous observation of international rights experts, both within and outside the UN system, that counter-terrorism measures that have been adopted to that date have all infringed on human rights and fundamental freedoms in one way or another (Foot, 2007). It was therefore determined that in the course of pursuing the counter-terrorism effort, the protection of human rights must be assured. It is the official position of the UN and its member states that these twin pursuits – counter-terrorism and the protection of human rights – are deemed complementary and that they mutually reinforce each other’s goals. The UN has committed to pursue measures to halt the violation of human rights, and to adopt counter-terrorism measures which comply fully with the obligation to protect human rights (UNACT, 2013).
The UN has committed to pursue measures to halt the violation of human rights, and to adopt counter-terrorism measures which comply fully with the obligation to protect human rights (UNACT, 2013). The commitments provide assurances that the anti-terrorism effort shall be coupled with the observance of human rights, at least in principle. However, the robustness of this observance in practice should be ascertained by an examination of the records pertaining to the records of the committees of the UN Security Council, which are tasked with the implementation of counter-terrorist measures. In order to abide by this commitment to ensure that human rights are respected even and especially during the course of combatting terrorism, the post of Special Rapporteur was created in 2005. The Special Rapporteur shall be concerned with the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while undertaking counter-terrorist activities (UN General Assembly, 4 June 2012). Despite assurances in treaties and the expression of agreement in human rights conventions, there is grave concern, from accounts of victims and investigative journalism reports, that human rights are consistently being violated in the interest of stemming the rise in terrorist activities worldwide. On the one hand, the undue curtailment of human rights is a violation of the UN conventions to which member States are signatories, and should therefore be sanctions. On the other hand, fear of a repetition of attacks such as that of the World Trade Centre appears to justify this resort to violation of the rights of a few to obtain information and prevent the deaths of many. This