Global Counterterroism Forum Co-Chairs': About the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF)

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Counterterrorism
September 23, 2014


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 European Union), 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 (EU), 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 (UAE), the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States. Additionally, some 40 non-member states and dozens of non-member international, regional, sub-regional, and non-governmental organizations 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.

STRUCTURE

The GCTF consists of a strategic-level Coordinating Committee, co-chaired 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 (CVE), co-chaired by the UAE and the UK; 3) detention and reintegration, co-chaired by Australia and Indonesia; 4) capacity building in the Sahel region, co-chaired by Algeria and Canada; and 5) capacity building in the Horn of Africa region, co-chaired by the EU and Turkey.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

• The mobilization of more than $250 million to support CT-related strengthening of criminal justice systems, including the training of prosecutors, police, judges, and corrections officials, with a particular focus on countries in transition.

• The December 2012 launch in Abu Dhabi of Hedayah, the first-ever international center of excellence for training, dialogue, research, and collaboration on CVE.

• The June 2014 launch of the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) in Valletta, Malta, which is dedicated to providing criminal justice officials from across North, West, and East Africa and the Middle East with human rights-compliant training to address terrorism and related security challenges within a rule of law framework.

• The September 2014 establishment in Geneva of the Global Fund on Community Engagement and Resilience (GCERF), the first-ever public-private global fund to support local, grass-roots efforts to counter violent extremism.

• The adoption of framework documents designed to serve as practical guides for rule of law-based CT capacity-building activities and implementing CT good practices at the national, sub-regional, and regional levels.[1] These framework documents address a variety of salient CT topics including:

o Effective, human rights-compliant CT practice in the criminal justice sector;

o Preventing and denying the benefits of kidnapping for ransom by terrorists;

o Multi-sectoral approaches to CVE;

o Community engagement and community-oriented policing as tools for CVE;

o Supporting victims in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack; and

o Rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders.

• The adoption of the July 2012 GCTF Madrid Declaration on Victims of Terrorism and the December 2012 GCTF Plan of Action on Victims of Terrorism to advance the cause of victims of terrorism, their families, and victims’ groups.

2014 – New Initiatives

The Forum has launched a number of new initiatives in 2014, including:

• An initiative aimed at identifying and developing the first-ever set of good practices to assist countries in developing a more comprehensive and effective response to the “Foreign Terrorist Fighter” challenge;

• An “intelligence-evidence” initiative, to address complexities that the criminal justice sector addresses when considering the role of intelligence information in criminal justice investigations and prosecutions;

• An initiative, aimed at promoting practical implementation of the Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices for Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists, to develop a set of highly interactive, discussion-based training modules on kidnapping for ransom (KFR) that will be made available to any interested partner;

• An initiative aimed at developing a draft legal and policy framework for “hot pursuit” of terrorists and other criminals across open borders in the Sahel region;

• Developing the first-ever set of global good practices on the role of judges in handling CT cases within a rule of law framework; and

• A joint collaboration with Hedayah to develop and implement an initiative on CVE and education, which will culminate in the development of associated good practices and form the basis of a plan of action to explore how to implement education approaches to CVE.

ANNEX 1 – GCTF ACTIVITIES IN 2014[2]

Coordinating Committee

Fifth Coordinating Committee Meeting, Rabat, Morocco, 2-3 April 2014

Sixth Coordinating Committee Meeting, New York, United States,  September 2014

Countering Violent Extremism Working Group

Workshop to Develop an Action Plan for Community-Oriented Policing as a Tool for Countering Violent Extremism, Doha, Qatar, 3-4 March 2014

Workshop on Supporting Civil Society Initiatives to Empower Women’s Roles in Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism, Istanbul, Turkey, 13-14 May 2014 (jointly hosted with the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe)

Practitioner-Focused Workshop on Countering Violent Extremism and Education, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 18-20 May 2014 (jointly hosted with Hedayah)

Third Countering Violent Extremism Working Group Plenary Meeting, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 4 September 2014

Criminal Justice Sector and the Rule of Law Working Group

Experts Meeting on Protecting and Using Intelligence Information in Rule of Law-Based and Criminal Justice Sector-Led Investigations and Prosecutions, Frankfurt, Germany, 8-9 January 2014

Workshop on Proactive CT Good Practices in the Criminal Justice Sector, Abuja, Nigeria, 22-23 January 2014

Second Seminar on the Role of the Judiciary in Handling Counterterrorism and Other National Security Cases within a Rule of Law Framework, The Hague, the Netherlands, 30 June-2 July 2014

Second Experts Meeting on Protecting and Using Intelligence Information in Rule of Law-Based, Criminal Justice Sector-Led Investigations and Prosecutions, Vienna, Austria, 7-8 July 2014 (jointly hosted with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime)

Detention and Reintegration Working Group

First Detention and Reintegration Working Group Plenary Meeting, Bali, Indonesia, 12-13 August 2014

“Foreign Terrorist Fighters” (FTF) Initiative

Opening Meeting of the GCTF “Foreign Terrorist Fighters” Initiative, The Hague, The Netherlands, 19-20 February 2014

First Expert Meeting of the GCTF “Foreign Terrorist Fighters” Initiative, Marrakech, Morocco, 14-15 May 2014

Second Expert Meeting of the GCTF “Foreign Terrorist Fighters” Initiative, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 16-17 June 2014 (jointly hosted with Hedayah)

Sahel Capacity-Building Working Group

Second Sahel Cross-Border Workshop, Dakar, Senegal, 26-27 March 2014

Local Capacity-Building Coordination Meeting, Nouakchott, Mauritania, 22 April 2014

Local Capacity-Building Coordination Meeting, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 6 May 2014

Local Capacity-Building Coordination Meeting, Nouakchott, Mauritania, 4 August 2014

Horn of Africa Region Capacity-Building Working Group

Workshop on Countering Violent Extremism in the Horn of Africa, Ankara, Turkey, 11 February 2014

Third Plenary Working Group Meeting, Nairobi, Kenya, 11-13 March 2014

Workshop on Improving Coordinating of CT Capacity-Building Efforts in the Horn of Africa, Brussels, Belgium, 17 July 2014




[1] For more information on GCTF framework documents, please visit the GCTF website at www.theGCTF.org.

[2] This represents those activities implemented and planned in CY 2014. Please visit www.theGCTF.org for additional information about all GCTF activities since the official launch in September 2011.