10 July 2007
Security Council

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York




Sixteen West African countries are set to meet with donors tomorrow at United Nations Headquarters in New York to discuss a more targeted and regional approach to building their ability to fight terrorism both within their borders and across the region.

The day-long informal meeting between West African States and some 20 donor nations and international organizations is intended to give participants the opportunity to exchange views on the challenges faced by countries in putting into practice the various Security Council counter-terrorism resolutions, particularly resolution 1373 (2001), and by providers in delivering counter-terrorism-related technical assistance.

Organized by the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee’s Executive Directorate (CTED), the meeting also aims to encourage the implementation of the relevant provisions of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by the General Assembly in September 2006.

Although the threat of terrorism in most West African countries is not high, currently, there is a danger that terrorists and their supporters might exploit domestic and regional instabilities to recruit and train members, and to fund, coordinate and launch attacks both within and beyond the region.

Despite their commitment to combating terrorism, most nations in the region lack the technical and financial resources to fully implement either resolution 1373 (2001) or regional directives and initiatives.

CTED visited Mali and Nigeria in 2006 as part of the Committee’s efforts to deepen dialogue with Member States on their efforts to implement resolution 1373 (2001), particularly in such areas as ratification of the international conventions and protocols on the prevention and suppression of terrorism; financial law and practice; law enforcement; and border control.  The experiences of those visits will be presented as case studies and lessons learned.

The West African States taking part in the meeting are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

International and regional bodies participating in the meeting are the International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), European Commission and the Group of Eight Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG).

Regional and subregional bodies from Africa invited to the meeting include the African Union and the Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Similar informal meetings were held in July 2006 for Pacific island States, in October 2006 for donors and the Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering (GIABA), and in November 2006 between CTED and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) Capacity-Building Programme Against Terrorism.


Security Council resolution 1373, adopted on 28 September 2001, calls on Member States to deny all forms of financial support for terrorist groups; suppress the provision of safe haven, sustenance or support for terrorists; share information with other Governments on any groups practising or planning terrorist acts; cooperate with other Governments in the investigation, detection, arrest and prosecution of those involved in such acts; criminalize active and passive assistance for terrorism in domestic laws and bring violators of these laws to justice; and become party as soon as possible to the relevant international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism.

At the same time, the resolution established the Counter-Terrorism Committee -- comprising all 15 Council members -- to monitor its implementation.  The monitoring work was further enhanced when the Council established CTED in 2004 through resolution 1535 (2004) to assist the Counter-Terrorism Committee, including by strengthening coordination and collaboration among Governments and national, regional and international bodies, and facilitating the provision of technical assistance to Member States.

For more information about the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate, please visit the website at http://www.un.org/sc/ctc/, send an email to cted@un.org, or contact Mitch Hsieh, CTED Public Information Officer at +1 212 457 1712.

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For information media • not an official record