A key Security Council committee on counter-terrorism is set to meet next week with more than three dozen international organizations to examine ways that countries can better secure their borders against terrorists and potential terrorist acts as well as how the United Nations system can assist in this effort.
The three-day meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) is intended to focus on such issues as hindering terrorist movement across national boundaries, bolstering the ability of countries to detect illicit arms shipments and preventing the abuse of the refugee and asylum system.
Talks are also expected to emphasize stronger national efforts, as well as bilateral and regional cooperation, to deny safe haven to terrorists, improve border and customs controls, enhance information sharing and exchange best practices.
The meeting, on the theme “Prevention of terrorist movement and effective border security,” will be the Committee’s fifth joint one with international, regional and subregional organizations. Previous gatherings were held in 2003 in New York and Washington, D.C., in 2004 in Vienna and in 2005 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Leading the discussions during the five thematic workshop-type sessions will be the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Customs Organization (WCO).
The session on law enforcement will deal with its role in border security, the challenges faced in preventing terrorist movement at airports, seaports, and land border crossings, as well as new initiatives in protecting national boundaries.
Deliberations on aviation security are expected to centre on new and emerging threats facing international civil aviation, and efforts to improve countries’ abilities in this area. Meanwhile the maritime security session will highlight measures that have been developed to prevent and combat terrorism on the high seas and their connections with UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions relating to counter-terrorism, particularly resolution 1373 (2001) resolution 1540 (2004).
Ensuring cargo security and the standards established to achieve this will be the focus of another meeting while a final session will be devoted to preserving the institution of asylum and refugee protection in the context of counter terrorism.
The 15-member CTC was established by the Security Council in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. to monitor implementation of resolution 1373 (2001), which calls for Member States to take several steps to enhance their legal and institutional capacity to better counter terrorist activities on a national, regional and global basis.
Among the steps countries should take are 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 practicing 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.
Subsequent Security Council resolutions also stressed the important role that international, regional and subregional organizations could play in helping countries to fulfil the obligations outlined in resolution 1373 (2001), and urged these bodies to intensify their assistance to UN Member States in this respect.
For more information on the meeting as well as the work of the CTC/CTED, please visit the Committee’s website at http://www.un.org/sc/ctc/; or contact Mitch Hsieh, CTED public information officer, tel: +1-917-821-5596 or e-mail: