As we continue our work for the implementation of the Global Counter-terrorism Strategy, joining forces and strengthening cooperation is the key to our success. Governments are increasingly mobilizing in the fight against terrorism and we need to continue to work even more closely with United Nations Member States. On 12 May 2011, the CTITF Office organized an open briefing to the United Nations General Assembly. For the first time, the briefing included not only UN entities but also Member States involved in CTITF projects. This gave an opportunity to interested governments to present their work to the rest of the UN membership, encouraging further engagement from Member States with our work. Many welcomed this development.
Just as we reach out to Member States in new and proactive ways, the CTITF’s biennial retreat for inter-agency coordination which followed the General Assembly briefing looked at how CTITF entities can further strengthen cooperation and improve information sharing. The Integrated Assistance on Countering Terrorism (I-ACT) initiative received particular attention as a unique platform for partnership between the United Nations and governments as well as substantive, practical and targeted tool to share information. A decision was made to re-model the CTITF website in order to make it a more comprehensive resource for the range of projects and activities undertaken by the CTITF entities. The conversation during part of the retreat with Mr. Gilles de Kerchove, the European Union Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, and Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, the United States’ Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism, showed the increasing importance of multilateral counter-terrorism efforts for major players.
For the first time since the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was passed, the CTITF Office organized, on 19 September 2011, an event at the ministerial level, hosted by the Secretary-General, to discuss the way forward. The Secretary- General’s Symposium on International Counter-Terrorism Cooperation focused on key priorities to further the implementation of the Global Strategy at the international, regional and local level. Regional cooperation in particular is critical to our counter-terrorism efforts. That is why in late July the CTITF Office and the Government of Ethiopia brought together States of the Eastern Africa region to discuss ways to promote the regional implementation of the Strategy. Additionally, the Counter-Terrorism Committee held an event to commemorate the adoption of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001).
The ten year anniversary of the attacks on September 11th in the city of New York reminded us of all the tragedies around the world and the need to continue to work together, through enhanced coordination and strong collaboration. I continue to count on all of you to achieve our common objectives against terrorism.
Robert Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Planning.