Press Releases: Global Counterterrorism Forum Co-Chairs' Fact Sheet: About the GCTF

Below is the text of the Fact Sheet issued by the Co-Chairs (Turkey and the United States) of the Global Counterterrorism Forum on September 27, 2015.

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The GCTF is an informal, multilateral counterterrorism (CT) platform focusing on identifying critical civilian CT needs, mobilizing the necessary expertise and resources to address such needs, and enhancing global cooperation. Launched at a ministerial meeting in New York on 22 September 2011, the Forum, with its 30 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 (CVE) 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 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 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 Turkey and the United States; six thematic and regional expert-driven working groups; and a small administrative unit. The working groups are: (1) Criminal Justice Sector and the 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) Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF), co-chaired by Morocco and the Netherlands; (5) Sahel Region Capacity-Building, co-chaired by Algeria and Canada; and (6) Horn of Africa Region Capacity-Building, co-chaired by the EU and Turkey. As determined during the May 2015 Coordinating Committee meeting, the United States will transition its co-chairmanship of the Forum to the Netherlands following the September 2015 Ministerial meeting. Turkey will transition its co-chairmanship of the Forum to Morocco following the ninth meeting of the Coordinating Committee in spring 2016.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • The mobilization of more than $300 million to support national and regional efforts to strengthen civilian institutions and counter violent extremism, including support for the implementation of the GCTF framework documents at both the regional and country levels.
  • The December 2012 launch of Hedayah in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Hedayah is 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. The IIJ 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 of the Global Fund on Community Engagement and Resilience (GCERF) in Geneva, Switzerland. GCERF is the first-ever public-private global fund to support local, grass-roots efforts to counter violent extremism. GCERF is now fully operational in Geneva as a foundation under Swiss law.
  • The adoption of framework documents designed to serve as practical guides for rule of law-based CT and CVE 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 and CVE topics including:
  • Effective, human rights-compliant CT practice in the criminal justice sector;
  • Preventing and denying the benefits of kidnapping for ransom by terrorists;
  • Multi-sectoral approaches to CVE;
  • Community engagement and community-oriented policing as tools for CVE;
  • Supporting victims in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack;
  • Rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders;
  • Effective responses to the FTF phenomenon;
  • The role of the judiciary in adjudicating terrorism offenses; and
  • Education and CVE.

ANNEX 1 – GCTF ACTIVITIES IN 2014-2015[2]

Coordinating Committee

Seventh Coordinating Committee Meeting, Doha, Qatar, 6-7 May 2015

Eighth Coordinating Committee Meeting and Sixth Ministerial Plenary, New York, United States, 26-27 September 2015

Countering Violent Extremism Working Group

Workshop on Advancing Women’s Roles in Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism, Vienna, Austria, 21-22 October 2014 (jointly hosted with the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe)

Symposium on Strengthening International Cooperation to Prevent and Counter Terrorists’ Use of the Internet, Beijing, China, 17-18 November 2014

Global CVE Communications Exposition, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 9-11 December 2014 (jointly hosted with Hedayah)

Plenary Meeting of the CVE Working Group, London, United Kingdom, 2-3 June 2015

Criminal Justice Sector and the Rule of Law Working Group

Plenary Meeting of the CJ-ROL Working Group, Valletta, Malta, 13-14 April 2015

Detention and Reintegration Working Group

Workshop on Prison and Security Issues and Implementation of the GCTF Rome Memorandum Good Practices 1-6, Abuja, Nigeria, 12-13 November 2014

Workshop on Capacity Building and Training for the Appropriate Management of Violent Extremist Offenders, Medan, Indonesia, 8-9 April 2015

“Foreign Terrorist Fighters” (FTF) Initiative

Expert Workshop on Reintegrating Returning FTFs: Challenges and Lessons Learned, Rome, Italy, 11-12 December 2014

Inaugural Plenary Meeting of the FTF Working Group, Marrakech, Morocco, 15-16 December 2014

Workshop on Raising Community Awareness to the FTF Phenomenon, Washington, D.C., 23-24 February 2015

Conference on FTF, The Hague, the Netherlands, 8 June 2015

Sahel Capacity-Building Working Group

Plenary Meeting of the Sahel Working Group, Algiers, Algeria, 24-25 March 2015

Kidnapping for Ransom Experts Meeting, Algiers, Algeria, 26 March 2015

Horn of Africa Region Capacity-Building Working Group

Regional Exposition of Counterterrorism Efforts in the HOA Region, Kampala, Uganda, 17-18 March 2015

Plenary Meeting of the Horn of Africa Working Group, Kampala, Uganda, 19-20 March 2015

Workshop on Effective Intra- and Inter-agency Cooperation and Coordination as a Good Practice in Prevention, Investigation, and Prosecution of Terrorism Cases in the HOA Region, Bishoftu/Debrezeit, Ethiopia, 23-25 March 2015 (jointly hosted with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s Security Sector Program)

Horn of Africa (HOA)-focused Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Workshop, Brussels, Belgium, 11 June 2015

Other Meetings

Workshop on Air Traveler Security, Perth, Australia, 7-9 December 2014

Inaugural Conference of the Border Security Initiative (BSI), El Jadida, Morocco, 21-22 July 2015 (jointly hosted with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre)

BSI Study Tour and Experts Roundtable, Cairns, Australia, 25-26 August 2015 (jointly hosted with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre)

Meeting of the GCTF Working Group Co-Chairs on Preparing for the Next Wave: GCTF Cross-Working Group Initiatives to Address the Life Cycle of Radicalization to Violence, The Hague, the Netherlands, 3 September 2015

BSI Expert Seminar on Cross-Border Cooperation and Border Surveillance Methods, Vienna, Austria, 10-11 September 2015 (jointly organized with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre)

[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.