Reforming UN Counter-terrorism in 2021: protecting against the rise of the fourth pillar

The founding United Nations (UN) Charter established the three pillars of the institution: peace and security, human rights and development. Yet, over the past 20 years, a fourth pillar – counter-terrorism – has begun to emerge.

Now in 2021, after many UN Security Council resolutions, a global strategy from the UN General Assembly, and the creation of a stand-alone UN Office of Counter-terrorism – significant resources are being dedicated to the UN's role in countering terrorism.

How did this happen and is this such a good idea for the UN institution? In 2020 Saferworld released a new discussion paper exploring the impact and future threats of this shift – A fourth pillar for the United Nations? The rise of counter-terrorism. Watch these video explainers to find out what we discovered and what we suggest can be done:

The fourth pillar of the United Nations: the rise of counter-terrorism

The fourth pillar of the United Nations: how to reform counter-terrorism