United Nations General Assembly mandate
The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) was established on 15 June 2017 through the adoption of UN General Assembly Resolution 71/291. Mr. Vladimir Voronkov was appointed as its first Under-Secretary-General.
The creation of the Office is considered as the first major institutional reform undertaken by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres following his report (A/71/858) on the Capability of the United Nations to Assist Member States in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
As suggested by Secretary-General in his report (A/71/858) on the Capability of the United Nations to Assist Member States in implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact (former CTITF) and the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) were moved out of the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs into the new Office of Counter-Terrorism.
The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/RES/60/288) and its biennial General Assembly Review resolutions provide the substance of UNOCT’s mandate.
UNOCT’s five main functions
The Office of Counter-Terrorism has five main functions:
- Provide leadership on the General Assembly counter-terrorism mandates entrusted to the Secretary-General from across the United Nations system
- Enhance coordination and coherence across the Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact entities to ensure the balanced implementation of the four pillars of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy
- Strengthen the delivery of United Nations counter-terrorism capacity-building assistance to Member States
- Improve visibility, advocacy and resource mobilization for United Nations counter-terrorism efforts
- Ensure that due priority is given to counterterrorism across the United Nations system and that the important work on preventing violent extremism is firmly rooted in the Strategy
The UN General Assembly establishes the priorities of UNOCT through the resolutions of the biennial Review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The Office works closely with UN Member States, UN entities, civil society, international and regional organizations, academia and other stakeholders strengthening existing and developing new partnerships to effectively prevent and counter terrorism.
UNOCT is headed by Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov. Upon creation of the Office, the Secretary-General appointed Mr Voronkov to provide strategic leadership to United Nations counter-terrorism efforts, participate in the decision-making process of the United Nations and ensure that the cross-cutting origins and impact of terrorism are reflected in the work of the United Nations.
Leadership, coordination and capacity-building
On 23 February 2018, the Secretary-General signed the new UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact, which replaced the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force coordination arrangement. The Compact aims to strengthen a common action approach to coordination and coherence in the counter-terrorism and prevention of violent extremism (CPVE) work of the United Nations system, and to strengthen support to Member States, at their request, in the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and other relevant United Nations resolutions and mandates.
Established since 2011, the UN Counter Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), is the main capacity-building arm of UNOCT providing capacity-building assistance to Member States through counter-terrorism projects and programmes around the world in line with the four pillars of the Global Strategy.
Collaboration with the Security Council
UNOCT works in close collaboration with the Security Council subsidiary bodies mandated to enhance the capacity of Member States to prevent and respond to terrorist acts which include the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, as well as the 1540 Committee on the non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. The Committees are supported in their work by different entities; whereas the Counter-Terrorism Committee has its Executive Directorate (CTED) to carry out its policy decisions and conduct expert assessments of Member States, the 1267 Committee draws on a Monitoring Team