Skip to main content
Thematic reports

A/77/345: Promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism - Note by the Secretary-General


16 September 2022

UN symbol



In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism addresses the inextricable link between the core objectives of the United Nations to maintain, build and preserve peace and promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, detailing the history of these objectives within the United Nations architecture. She affirms that increased emphasis by the United Nations and its entities in ensuring that any peace work, including peacemaking, peacebuilding and peacekeeping, is designed by, for and in the interest of primary beneficiaries – “the people of the United Nations” – not simply its Member States. By tracing the breadth of peace work conducted by the United Nations across its entities, the Special Rapporteur highlights a range of contemporary challenges emerging in contexts where States are increasingly engaged through a terrorism rather than a peace lens, often displacing core international legal frameworks and undermining the ability to engage in local-level peacebuilding and human rights work or facilitate or support the mediation of local conflicts. This places the United Nations in complex interfaces that challenge norms of neutral peacekeeping principles and compliance with human rights and rule of law standards.

The Special Rapporteur underscores the positive shifts and rearticulations of the United Nations commitment to preventing conflict and sustaining peace through more closely aligned objectives, programmes and support to communities and Member States. She notes, however, detrimental shifts in the unparalleled growth of the United Nations counter-terrorism architecture and the ways in which it engages States in a service-driven and on-demand model of technical assistance and capacity-building without concrete consideration for how such programming ultimately delivers to the United Nations primary stakeholders – the people of those States. She observes increased challenges for United Nations and civil society actors who expose these dynamics in United Nations programming, practice and normative frameworks. She anticipates that further articulation of core issues relating to human rights due diligence, principles of “do no harm” and long-term failures to deliver on key objectives, including the Sustainable Development Goals, Our Common Agenda and other normative frameworks will continue.

In the report, she traces the pre-eminence of peace and human rights within the United Nations architecture, the legal and policy tools available to promote and protect human rights in United Nations peace work, the evolution of and interplay between the United Nations counter-terrorism and peace architectures, the challenges posed by the encroachment of counter-terrorism and preventing and countering violent extremism on peacemaking, peacebuilding, sustaining peace, conflict prevention and resolution, including in peacekeeping and armed conflict settings, mediation and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes and the interface between the law of occupation and counter-terrorism practice.

Issued By:

Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism

Delivered To:

General Assembly at its Seventy-seventh session