Guided by Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005), the CTC works to bolster the ability of United Nations Member States to prevent terrorist acts both within their borders and across regions. It was established in the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States.
The CTC is assisted by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), which carries out the policy decisions of the Committee, conducts expert assessments of each Member State and facilitates counter-terrorism technical assistance to countries.
Resolution 1373 (2001), adopted unanimously on 28 September 2001, calls upon Member States to implement a number of measures intended to enhance their legal and institutional ability to counter terrorist activities, including taking steps to:
- Criminalize the financing of terrorism
- Freeze without delay any funds related to persons involved in acts of terrorism
- 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 practicing or planning terrorist acts
- Cooperate with other governments in the investigation, detection, arrest, extradition and prosecution of those involved in such acts; and
- Criminalize active and passive assistance for terrorism in domestic law and bring violators to justice.
The resolution also calls on States to become parties, as soon as possible, to the relevant international counter-terrorism legal instruments.
Resolution 1624 (2005) pertains to incitement to commit acts of terrorism, calling on UN Member States to prohibit it by law, prevent such conduct and deny safe haven to anyone "with respect to whom there is credible and relevant information giving serious reasons for considering that they have been guilty of such conduct."
In short, the work of the CTC and CTED comprises:
Country visits - at their request, to monitor progress, as well as to evaluate the nature and level of technical assistance a given country may need in order to implement resolution 1373 (2001);
Technical assistance - to help connect countries to available technical, financial, regulatory and legislative assistance programmes, as well as to potential donors;
Country reports – to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the counter-terrorism situation in each country and serve as a tool for dialogue between the Committee and Member States;
Best practices – to encourage countries to apply known best practices, codes and standards, taking into account their own circumstances and needs; and
- Special meetings – to develop closer ties with relevant international, regional and subregional organizations, and to help avoid duplication of effort and waste of resources through better coordination.