Below is the text of the Fact Sheet issued by the Co-Chairs (Turkey and the United States) of the Global Counterterrorism Forum for the June 7, 2012, GCTF Ministerial-Level Plenary in Istanbul.
The GCTF aims to help countries around the world build their capacities -- and especially those of their civilian institutions -- to meet the terrorist threats within their borders and regions and to strengthen global efforts to counter the many varieties of violent extremism. The 7 June 2012 GCTF Ministerial Plenary will include the announcement of a number of new initiatives in these areas, thus underscoring an action-oriented approach to addressing 21st century terrorism.
The adoption of two sets of good practices. One set focuses on the criminal justice sector (the Rabat Memorandum on Good Practices for Effective Counterterrorism Practice in the Criminal Justice Sector) and the other on prisons (the Rome Memorandum on Good Practices for Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders). These documents reflect the contributions from a wide-range of GCTF members and are designed to serve as practical guides for implementing counterterrorism-related capacity-building activities in the criminal justice sphere. In addition, they offer practical advice to all interested states as they seek to implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (UN Strategy), which underscores the critical role that an effective and accountable national criminal justice system plays in ensuring that terrorists and their supporters are brought to justice.
The Rome Memorandum, which was produced at a 10-11 May 2012 experts’ meeting of the Forum’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Working Group in Rome, emphasizes the importance of a rule of law-based approach to prison management, noting that programs focused on rehabilitation of violent extremist offenders are only likely to succeed when they are set in a safe, secure, and well-managed and regulated environment. This document will be used as the basis for technical assistance and other bilateral and UN-led capacity-building programs that the GCTF will help develop and support.
The Rabat Memorandum, which was elaborated at a 7-8 February 2012 meeting of the Forum’s Criminal Justice Sector and Rule of Law Working Group in Rabat, includes a set of good practices for police, prosecutors, prison officials, judges, and other criminal justice officials to implement and promote a rule of law-based criminal justice sector response to terrorism. These good practices will form the basis for many of the criminal justice-related counterterrorism capacity-building efforts of Turkey, the United States, and other GCTF members and partners.
II. GCTF members will announce capacity-building projects, both bilateral and multilateral, to support the implementation of these good practices documents. For example, the United States plans to provide financial support (totaling some $15 million) for a number of initiatives, 2
including some in partnership with or with the support of the United Nations, regional bodies, and civil society. These programs will train prosecutors, police, prison officials, parliamentarians, and judges and provide other counterterrorism-related criminal justice capacity-building support. Turkey has already initiated a number of capacity-building programs in the criminal justice sector and will continue to be actively engaged in this process. Other GCTF members are also expected to step forward in Istanbul to announce concrete contributions in this area of strategic priority for the Forum.
III. The UAE will provide an update on the progress that has been made in standing up the International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, which will focus on training, research, and dialogue and collaboration, to counter violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations. Thanks to the UAE’s energy and commitment, significant progress has been made since it announced it would host the center in Abu Dhabi. The Center’s activities will be keyed and responsive to the diverse needs of GCTF members and partners. In Istanbul, the UAE will present an update to GCTF members regarding the Terms of Reference for the Center and an initial 18-month operating plan. Additionally, the UAE will provide a list of proposed initiatives that would be conducted under the Center's auspices. Turkey, the United States, and other GCTF members will highlight the tangible ways in which they intend to support the new institution, which is slated open this October.
IV. The announcement of the intention to establish an international training center dedicated to strengthening criminal justice and other rule of law institutions. The location of this new center will be announced shortly.