Russia and the UN: Countering the Root Causes of Terrorism
Authors: Annick Valleau, Rodolphe Droalin
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This article examines the international community’s efforts in elaborating and enacting counterterrorism preventive measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. Special emphasis is placed on the comprehensive approach to counterterrorism, which provides for the inclusive participation of non-state actors in the fight against violent extremism. The authors argue that the task of strengthening the preventive pillar of international cooperation is hampered by multiple tensions and divergent views that have, inter alia, hindered the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism with its universal definition of terrorism.
The authors also analyze the growing influence of the Russian Federation within the UN’s counterterrorism entities, as well as its position regarding the new participatory trend of international security policies. Russia’s national approach to counterterrorism involves the close collaboration between state and non-state actors with the purpose of fostering multiethnic and interreligious tolerance through counterterrorism propaganda and the promotion of patriotism. Accordingly, Russia strongly supports international initiatives to counter the ideology of terrorism through the regulation of the virtual space, while fervently upholding the principles of the sovereignty of States and non-interference in domestic affairs.
The authors concluded that Russia’s perspective on counterterrorism openly clashes with the Western approach centered on the democratic community-based response to terrorism. Moreover, the human rights driven approach for military interventions in sovereign States, promoted by Western countries, is not compatible with the principles of sovereignty defended by Russia. In the light of the increasing leverage of Russia and of regional platforms, such as the Shanghai cooperation organization, within the counterterrorism branches of the UN, the authors suggest that the Russian vision of international counterterrorism policies grounded in values of State sovereignty could eventually prevail over the Western stance of democracy promotion through the prism of the Global War on Terror.
The sources used in this paper include official UN documents such as resolutions, statements and press releases. Academic and NGO studies on counterterrorism, newspaper articles as well as declarations of the Russian government also complete the authors’ reflections.