An international centre to fight terrorism
In February 2005, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosted the first International Counter-Terrorism Conference in Riyadh at which the late Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud called upon the international community to establish an international centre to fight terrorism.
On 8 September 2006, the United Nations General Assembly, acting by consensus, adopted the landmark UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In the Plan of Action annexed to the Strategy the Member States resolve to undertake specific measures to counter terrorism, including measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism (Pillar I); to prevent and combat terrorism (Pillar II); to build States’ capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and to strengthen the role of the UN system in this regard (Pillar III); and to ensure the respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism (Pillar IV).
In the second pillar of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the General Assembly “acknowledge[d] that the question of creating an international centre to fight terrorism could be considered, as part of the international efforts to enhance the fight against terrorism.”
Establishment of United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre
The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) was established in September 2011 to promote international counter-terrorism cooperation and support Member States in the implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy through a voluntary contribution of the Government of Saudi Arabia.
On 18 November 2011, the General Assembly welcomed the establishment of the UNCCT within the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact (former CTITF) of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) in the UN Secretariat and encouraged Member States to collaborate with the Centre (A/RES/66/10).
The Centre became operational in April 2012 following the first meeting of its Advisory Board.
In August 2014, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia donated USD 100 million to UNCCT. Since its establishment, more than 30 countries have provided financial support to UNCCT and its projects.
Establishment of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism
On 15 June 2017, the General Assembly established the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) through resolution A/RES/71/291. The General Assembly “welcome[d] the initiative of the Secretary-General to transfer the current Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Office and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, together with their existing staff, as well as all associated regular and extrabudgetary resources, out of the Department of Political Affairs of the Secretariat, into the Office of Counter-Terrorism.” The General Assembly also recognized “the important work carried out by the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, and emphasizes that the existing contribution agreements and the functions, chairmanship and composition of the Advisory Board of the Centre shall be maintained and that the budget and financial resources of the Centre shall be used only for its programme of work.”
UNCCT Programme of work
The work of UNCCT is guided by its 5-Year Programme (2016-2020) , which is aligned with the four Pillars of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
UNCCT benefits from the advice of 22 members of its Advisory Board, chaired by his Excellency Ambassador Abdallah Yahya A. Al-Mouallimi, Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations. The Under-Secretary-General of UNOCT, Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, is the Executive Director of the Centre.
In 2018, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force coordination arrangement was replaced by United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact.
- Remarks by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres at the 16th Meeting of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre Advisory Board in Riyadh (17 April 2018)
- Remarks by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres at 15th Meeting of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre Advisory Board in New York (30 October 2017)
- Remarks by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at press stakeout on Saudi contribution for UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (13 August 2014)
- Remarks by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the Second Meeting of the Advisory Board of the United Nations Centre for Counter-Terrorism in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (3 June 2012)