— The Erimtan Angle —

‘Abby Martin speaks with RT Correspondent Marina Portnaya, about a new UN resolution that is being compared to the US Patriot Act, going over how the text could allow countries to increase surveillance under the name of counter terrorism, as well as giving states new tools to crack down on dissent by simply labeling activists ‘terrorists’ (1 Oct 2014)’.

Resolution 2178 was adopted on 24 September 2014 and its oblique language makes for a more that interesting read.[1]  In The Globe and Mail Kent Roach and Carmen Cheung report that in “a special meeting chaired by President Barack Obama, the Security Council unanimously enacted Resolution 2178”, and then explain that “Security Council resolutions create mandatory obligations on all states. Traditionally, they’ve been used to impose targeted sanctions on outlaw states that present a danger to international peace and security. Resolution 2178, however, acts more like international legislation. It will likely set the international agenda for counterterrorism law and policy for the next decade. Unfortunately, it sets a flawed agenda that is unlikely to make us safer but is likely to make us less free. We have been here before. In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1373, which also acted as international legislation, requiring every member of the United Nations to combat terrorism. Generally speaking, who can argue with the correctness of needing to combat terrorism? But the generality of Resolution 1373 allowed it to be abused and invoked by states seeking to limit civil liberties and basic human rights in the name of combating terrorism and protecting national security Though adopted as a direct response to the extraordinary events of 9/11, Resolution 1373 has become a permanent fixture in the international legal order and has formed the legal basis for everything from U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, to draconian blacklists based on secret evidence, to the sharing of faulty intelligence that saw Maher Arar and other Canadians detained and tortured in Syria. Resolution 2178 is like déjà vu all over again – hastily drafted at the insistence of the U.S. and adopted in a moment of international crisis. But there are serious problems with this resolution. Crucially, it fails to define ‘terrorism’. The resolution aggravates this already ambiguous term by failing to specify that it concerns international terrorism – which is the threat posed by IS and its allies – and by linking terrorism with the even vaguer notion of ‘extremism'”.[2]

[1] “Resolution 2178” UN. http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/2178 (2014).

[2] Kent Roach and Carmen Cheung, “UN wants to battle Islamic State, but is it fighting freedom?” The Globe and Mail (02 Oct 2014). http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/un-wants-to-battle-is-but-is-it-fighting-freedom/article20890383/.

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