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 September 27, 2013, GCTF Ministerial Plenary in New York.
The GCTF is an informal, multilateral counterterrorism (CT) platform that focuses on identifying critical civilian CT needs, mobilizing the necessary expertise and resources to address such needs and enhance global cooperation. Launched at a ministerial meeting in New York on 22 September 2011, the Forum, with its 30 founding members (29 countries and the EU), regularly convenes key CT policymakers and practitioners from nations around the world, as well as experts from the United Nations and other multilateral bodies. It has strengthened the international architecture for addressing 21st century terrorism and is promoting a strategic, long-term approach to dealing with the threat. The Forum identifies urgent needs, devises solutions, and mobilizes resources for addressing key CT challenges facing civilian institutions. With its primary focus on countering violent extremism and strengthening criminal justice and other rule of law institutions that deal with terrorism, the GCTF aims to diminish terrorist recruitment and increase countries’ capabilities for dealing with terrorist threats within their borders and regions.
MEMBERS AND PARTNERS: The 30 founding members of the GCTF are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Additionally, some 39 non-member states have participated in one or more GCTF activities.
The United Nations is a close partner of the GCTF and a regular participant in its activities. The GCTF takes as a central part of its mission the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. More broadly, the GCTF’s work complements and reinforces existing multilateral CT efforts, including those of the UN and relevant regional organizations. Experts from a number of such bodies have worked closely with the GCTF and participated in its activities, including the African Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Council of Europe, the Economic Community of West African States, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the Organization of American States, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
STRUCTURE: The GCTF consists of a strategic-level Coordinating Committee, co-chaired initially by the United States and Turkey; five thematic and regional expert-driven working groups; and a small administrative unit. The working groups focus on: 1) the criminal justice sector and rule of law, co-chaired by Egypt and the United States; 2) countering violent extremism, co-chaired by the UAE and the UK; 3) capacity building in the Sahel, co-chaired by Algeria and Canada; 4) capacity building in the Horn of Africa region, co-chaired by the EU and Turkey; and 5) capacity building in Southeast Asia, co-chaired by Australia and Indonesia.
The Rabat Memorandum on Good Practices for Effective Counterterrorism Practice in the Criminal Justice Sector is designed to help police, prosecutors, judges, and other criminal justice officials implement and promote a rule of law-based criminal justice sector response to terrorism. These good practices form the basis for many of the criminal justice-related CT capacity-building efforts of GCTF members and partners.
The Rome Memorandum on Good Practices for Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders emphasizes the importance of a rule of law-based approach to the management of prisons, which are among the most notorious incubators of violent extremism. This document is being used as the basis for technical assistance programs that the GCTF is helping to develop and support.
The Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists is a set of practical tools elaborated by experts from the GCTF membership and the United Nations in Algiers in April 2012 that will contribute to the international effort to crack down on the use of this pernicious tactic.