Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Ben Saul
Chapter 36: A critical assessment of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373
The adoption of Resolution 1373 (2001) by the United Nations Security Council (Council) attracted a great deal of attention because of its revolutionary character. For the first time, pressed by the need to answer the terrible terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001 (9/11), the Council adopted a clear legislative role by imposing general counter-terrorism obligations on states, disconnected from any particular conflict. The emotional environment created by the events of 9/11 helps to explain this innovative move, which aroused the criticism of those who conceived the Council as a mere executive branch of the UN system. The singular organic structure established to supervise the implementation of the Resolution also offers an interesting testing ground to analyse future trends of global governance in safeguarding common universal interests. This chapter studies the content of Resolution 1373, its organic and procedural structure, and the path travelled during more than a decade of implementation, including the Resolution’s main achievements and shortcomings. This contribution concludes with some reflections on the future of UN counter-terrorism cooperation and a proposal to create a UN Counter-Terrorist Agency, in the light of the experience of Resolution 1373.
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