Ninth Ministerial Plenary Meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF)
The Ninth Ministerial Plenary Meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), co-chaired by the Netherlands and Morocco, took place today in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly. Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan represented the United States, and introduced two new U.S. co-led initiatives on terrorist travel and unmanned aerial system (UAS) threats.
The United States and Morocco will co-lead the “Initiative on Improving Capabilities for Detecting and Interdicting Terrorist Travel through Enhanced Terrorist Screening and Information Sharing.” This terrorist travel initiative will address border security and information sharing, including the use of watchlists, biometrics, Advance Passenger Information (API), and Passenger Name Record (PNR) data. It aims to help countries implement their obligations under UNSCR 2396 to combat terrorist travel. The United States and Germany will co-lead the “Initiative to Counter Unmanned Aerial System Threats” to raise awareness of the growing UAS threat and help formulate plans to address it. Both initiatives will produce a set of non-binding good practice documents for endorsement at the GCTF Ministerial in 2019.
Ministers also endorsed today two new GCTF documents stemming from two current initiatives on returning families of foreign terrorist fighters and homegrown terrorism. The Good Practices for Addressing the Challenge of Returning Families of Foreign Terrorist Fighters was generated by an initiative co-led by the United States and the Netherlands, and is a resource for international engagement, assistance, and training on this issue. The Rabat-Washington Good Practices on the Prevention, Detection, Intervention, and Response to Homegrown Terrorism came out of an initiative co-led by the United States and Morocco and helps policymakers and practitioners improve domestic efforts to identify and counter homegrown terrorism.
Founded in 2011, the GCTF is a multilateral counterterrorism platform focused on identifying critical civilian counterterrorism needs, mobilizing the expertise and resources to address those needs, and enhancing global cooperation. The Forum, with its 30 members (29 countries and the European Union), regularly convenes key policymakers and practitioners from nations around the world, as well as experts from the UN and other multilateral bodies.