Explanation of Position at the Third Committee Adoption of the Terrorism and Human Rights Resolution

Nicholas Hill
Deputy U.S. Representative for ECOSOC
New York, New York
November 12, 2021


The United States thanks Mexico and Egypt for their continued efforts to address the critical issue of promoting and protecting human rights while countering terrorism in the UN system, and appreciates the update to this year’s resolution with a newly-inserted paragraph.

The United States remains concerned, however, that the remainder of the resolution does not reflect important updates or member state agreed language from other UN bodies charged with these issues and risks becoming obsolete.

In particular, the United States disassociates from OP15. We fully support the role humanitarian actors operating in line with the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence, including in alleviating the suffering of those who are displaced and otherwise victimized by terrorism. It is, at the same time, essential that terrorists are unable to use the guise of humanitarian to bolster their own operations. We submit that the language in OP15 is outdated in light of the binding obligation contained in UNSCR 2462 (2019) for Member States to ensure their laws establish criminal offenses that provide the ability to prosecute and penalize the willful financing of terrorist groups and individual terrorists for any purpose, even in the absence of connection with a terrorist act.

Additionally, OP15 is inconsistent with the binding obligation for Member States to prohibit their nationals or those within their territories from providing funds or other economic resources for the benefit of terrorist organizations or individual terrorists for any purpose, even in the absence of a link to a specific terrorist act, regardless of whether such support is meant to further the “terrorist,” supposed “humanitarian,” or any other goals or activities of a terrorist or terrorist organization.

Further, the United States dissociates from OP31 given it could hinder speech beyond the narrow exceptions to freedom of expression under the U.S. Constitution and Article 19 of the ICCPR. We remain committed to cooperating to counter violent extremist propaganda and incitement to violence on the Internet and social media, and believe the term “preventing” could be used to support excessive restrictions on speech, particularly online.