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Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force

Secretary-General’s Symposium on International Counter-Terrorism Cooperation

Representatives of governments, regional organizations, civil society and the media attending the Secretary-General's Symposium on International Counter-Terrorism Cooperation.

The Secretary-General’s Symposium on International Counter-Terrorism Cooperation (Part 2)

The Secretary-General’s Symposium on International Counter-Terrorism Cooperation was organized by the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Office (CTITF) in partnership with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and the constituent CTITF entities on 19 September 2011, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.


In September 2006, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/RES/60/288).  Steadily, the Strategy has become an important strategic element of national and regional counter-terrorism efforts.  It is based on four thematic pillars: (i) measures to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; (ii) measures to combat terrorism; (iii) measures to build States’ capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and to strengthen the role of the UN system in this regard; and (iv) measures to ensure respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis of the fight against terrorism.  The consensus adoption of the Strategy was a milestone in the multilateral counter-terrorism domain that laid the foundations for a comprehensive and integrated response to terrorism at the national, regional and international levels.

Subsequent General Assembly review resolutions (A/RES/62/272 and A/RES/64/297) have reaffirmed the Global Strategy and called for greater focus on its practical implementation, which is a responsibility that primarily rests with Member States.  The General Assembly has also institutionalized the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), giving the CTITF Office the capacity to support Member States’ efforts to implement the Strategy.

The CTITF presently consists of 31 United Nations funds, departments, agencies and other relevant international organizations.  It serves as a platform for coordination and coherence of multilateral counter-terrorism efforts; UN system-wide projects requiring engagement of more than one entity; and projects under the Counter-Terrorism Strategy umbrella not covered by other UN entities.

The Symposium

In the General Assembly’s first review resolution of the Global Strategy (A/RES/62/272), Member States reaffirmed “the need to enhance international cooperation in countering terrorism, and in this regard (recalled) the role of the United Nations system in promoting international cooperation and capacity-building as one of the elements of the Strategy.”  In the second review resolution (A/RES/64/297), Member States again reaffirmed “the need for enhanced dialogue among the counter-terrorism officials of Member States to promote international, regional and subregional cooperation”, and in that regard recalled the role of the United Nations system, in particular CTITF, in promoting international cooperation and capacity-building as elements of the Strategy.  The Secretary-General’s Symposium seeks to underscore the importance of these resolutions and provide added impetus to greater international cooperation between States on the entire range of counter-terrorism topics, as covered in the Global Strategy.

The Format

The Symposium comprised of six sessions: an opening session; four thematic plenary sessions; and a closing session.  The opening session, which included a keynote address of UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, was titled “International counter-terrorism cooperation over the last decade and the role of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.”  It covered the significant achievements made during the last decade in the multilateral counter-terrorism context.

The thematic sessions covered (1) promoting dialogue, understanding and countering the appeal of terrorism; (2) strengthening law enforcement, and capacity building efforts; (3) role of regional organizations in counter-terrorism cooperation; and (4) promoting human rights and the rule of law while countering terrorism.  Each thematic segment, led by a session chairperson,  included 5-6 minute statements from invited eminent speakers, followed by an interactive exercise in order to provide Member States with an opportunity to share their views.  The thematic segments generally followed the topics covered under the four pillars of the Strategy with particular attention to “cooperation” in countering the appeal of terrorism; law enforcement; capacity building; the role of regional organizations; and the rule of law.

The closing session presented a Chairman’s Summary of the key findings from the Symposium and eminent speakers’ statements on the way forward in the implementation of the Global Strategy.  The Chairman’s Summary will also serve in providing recommendations to promote and strengthen international counter-terrorism cooperation through multilateral mechanisms and to further the implementation of the Global Strategy at the regional and national levels.

A comprehensive report on the Symposium will be published, which will compile presentations and statements delivered at the event, summarize the discussions and include recommendations and key findings for the reference of Member States, international organizations and all relevant stakeholders.

Chairman's Summary