Global Counterterroism Forum Co-Chairs': The Complementary Roles of Hedayah, GCERF, and IIJ
Since its inception in 2011, the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) has become a strong proponent of practical steps to build greater counterterrorism (CT) cooperation, capacity, and programs on the global, regional, and sub-regional levels. This practical assistance is evident in the GCTF’s support to the launch of three independent organizations over the past several years: (1) Hedayah, the international center of excellence on countering violent extremism (CVE) in Abu Dhabi, (2) the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF); and (3) the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ). Each institution has its own unique mission and practically supports a pillar of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Together, these three organizations complement one another and work to address identified needs within the global CT landscape.
The Complementary Roles of Hedayah and GCERF in Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)
While both focus on CVE—in all its forms and manifestations—Hedayah and GCERF serve different roles. Hedayah is committed to building expertise and promoting constructive dialogue in the CVE community, while GCERF works to raise funds and provide grants to local, community-based CVE projects. Each organization supports shared elements of the GCTF’s efforts to inspire greater CT cooperation and CVE capacity building efforts. This complementary relationship enables them to make important and practical contributions to broader CVE efforts.
The establishment of Hedayah was prompted by the growing desire of GCTF members and the broader international community for an independent, multilateral center devoted to training, dialogue, collaboration, and research on CVE. Since its inception in December 2012, Hedayah has successfully brought together experts and practitioners from countries around the world to conduct workshops and trainings, develop good practice documents, build research capabilities, broaden institutional knowledge on global CVE issues, and serve as a dedicated platform for the facilitation of dialogue between CVE experts and practitioners.
As Hedayah continues to grow as an institution focused on building global CVE capabilities and expertise, GCERF will become an important and complementary institution capable of enabling the practical application of the growing field of CVE, by collecting public and private donations to fund local, community-based organizations implementing CVE-focused projects and to build their capacity. As such, it meets an identified need for a platform through which local organizations that may otherwise struggle to find funding can receive support. Similarly, GCERF offers countries and regional organizations a solution to delivering grants to small, localized organizations. Initial efforts will focus on funding projects in pilot countries as Bangladesh, Mali, and Nigeria. GCERF will also establish Country Committee Mechanisms (CCM) to identify small, community-based organizations that qualify for GCERF grant opportunities and capacity-building assistance. The GCERF’s Secretariat and multi-sectoral Governing Board will support these efforts, in addition to operating the fund itself.
The IIJ and Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Training
The IIJ was officially inaugurated in Valletta, Malta on 18 June 2014. Similar to Hedayah and GCERF, the IIJ was originally conceptualized and announced by members of the GCTF in an effort to address a gap in focused CT training and curriculum, in this case, on criminal justice and rule of law topics. The IIJ will provide rule of law-based training to lawmakers, police, prosecutors, judges, corrections officials, and other justice sector stakeholders on how to address terrorism and related transnational criminal activities within a rule of law framework. Although the IIJ’s mandate is global in nature, it will place an emphasis on countries in North, West, and East Africa, and the Middle East, paying particular attention to supporting countries in transition.
The GCTF’s active role in supporting the launch of these three organizations illustrates the GCTF’s mission of developing practical solutions to benefit the global CT landscape. Hedayah, GCERF, and IIJ all depend on the support and active participation of both GCTF members and partners to be successful. Members are encouraged to support these institutions in furtherance of the GCTF’s broader goals of meeting critical civilian CT needs, mobilizing the necessary expertise and resources to address such needs and enhancing global CT cooperation.