Thirteenth Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) Coordinating Committee Meeting, Tokyo, Japan

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 21, 2018


The Thirteenth Coordinating Committee Meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), co-chaired by Morocco and the Netherlands, took place in Tokyo, Japan on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Coordinator for Counterterrorism Ambassador-at-Large Nathan A. Sales representing the United States briefed GCTF members on the priorities for and activities of the GCTF’s Foreign Terrorist Fighter (FTF) Working Group, which the United States co-chairs with Jordan. Ambassador Sales presented an update on the United States-Netherland’s co-led Initiative to Address the Challenge of Returning Families of Foreign Terrorist Fighters, and introduced a new initiative co-led by the United States and Morocco, The Initiative on Improving Capabilities for Detecting and Interdicting Terrorist Travel through Enhanced Terrorist Screening and Information Sharing. This new initiative will address potential weaknesses or gaps in states’ capacities to develop watchlists, share information, and use that information for screening purposes in accordance with the U.S.-drafted UN Security Council Resolution 2396, which the Council adopted unanimously last December, along with 66 co-sponsors.

The FTF Working Group is seeking solutions to the problems posed by FTF movement, including statelessness of accompanying family members. The Working Group is supporting three initiatives, each of which will result in internationally-recognized, non-binding good practices documents. In addition to today’s new initiative, these include two initiatives launched in November 2017: the aforementioned Initiative on Addressing the Challenge of Returning Families of Foreign Terrorist Fighters and the Initiative to Address Homegrown Terrorism, co-chaired by the United States and Morocco.

Founded in 2011, the GCTF is a multilateral counterterrorism platform focused on identifying critical civilian counterterrorism needs, mobilizing the necessary expertise and resources to address such needs, and enhancing global cooperation. With its 30 members (29 countries and the European Union), the GCTF aims to diminish terrorist recruitment and increase countries’ capabilities for dealing with terrorist threats within their borders and regions.