Raising Awareness

PROJECT COMPLETED IN 2013

Overview

Member States have expressed political commitment to develop the legal, institutional and practical capacities to counter international terrorism, and several States have taken a number of important steps in this regard. However, adequate coordination between Government agencies and coherent and integrated national and regional counter-terrorism policies are often missing and the effective implementation of the Strategy remains elusive in many parts of the world. One of the chief reasons for this problem is the lack of in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Strategy in capitals and the role that different stakeholders, including the CTITF, can play in supporting national, regional, and sub-regional implementation.

In order to build sustained political support in capitals around the world for the Global Strategy, it is important that key stakeholders come together to discuss the relevance of the Strategy for their respective regions, identify priority areas of greater coordination and activity, including with support from CTITF and its entities, and make progress on the implementation of the Global Strategy. This project facilitates that process by allowing all relevant stakeholders to gain a better understanding and deeper knowledge of all four pillars of the Strategy and the means for their integrated implementation.

How did the CTITF Office raise awareness and understanding of the Strategy?

The CTITF Office adopted a strategic and incremental approach to raise awareness and build in-depth knowledge and understanding of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy through targeted awareness-raising initiatives with key stakeholders in Governments, regional/sub-regional organizations and civil society in five regions: Southeast Asia, South Asia, Southern Africa, Eastern Africa, and West Africa/Sahel regions.

Five major workshops were planned with participation of key stakeholders from those regions, including, national counter-terrorism policymakers and practitioners, law enforcement, criminal justice, and other relevant officials, national counterterrorism focal points or coordinators and relevant civil society actors. A global capstone event was also organized focused on regional cooperation and Pillar I of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in collaboration with the Government of Switzerland in Geneva in June 2013. The report for the Geneva Conference is here.

The workshops were organized by the CTITF Office, in cooperation with relevant CTITF entities, co-sponsoring Member States and, wherever possible, in cooperation with relevant regional/sub-regional organizations.

Building In-Depth Knowledge of the Strategy

How are workshops designed?

Although the aim of all five regional workshops is to deepen key stakeholders’ knowledge of the Strategy, the realities and priorities on the ground differ with regard to existing knowledge and respective political support for the Strategy. The focus of each regional workshop is tailored according to what is most useful to the relevant stakeholders. As a general principle, the CTITF Office encourages Member States to implement all four pillars of the Global Strategy with equal urgency and importance. In certain regions, where knowledge of the Strategy is limited, the workshop focus may thus cover all four pillars of the Strategy.

All of the workshops, however, include a focus on capacity-building. This allows participants to, inter alia, identify ways to build Strategy-related capacities in more innovative and sustainable ways, and to ensure that these efforts, including those of the United Nations, are coordinated and targeted towards priority needs.

In addition, the workshops provide an opportunity for the exchange of information and good practices on the implementation of the Global Strategy among relevant law enforcement, criminal justice, and other national officials.

The workshops produce a chair’s summary of recommendations and, where appropriate, the adoption of a regional plan of action for the implementation of the Global Strategy.  Each regional plan of action would, inter alia, enumerate those tasks which the different United Nations, regional, and national stakeholders commit to undertake in the months ahead.

These workshops serve as useful follow-on activities to the meeting of national counter-terrorism focal points in Vienna in October 2009. That meeting was co-sponsored by the Governments of Austria, Costa Rica, Japan, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland and Turkey and organized in close cooperation with the CTITF, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Outcome Documents

  • International Counter-Terrorism Focal Points Conference on Addressing Conditions Conducive to the Spread of Terrorism and Promoting Regional Cooperation (Geneva, June 2013) — Workshop report
  • Workshop for Western Africa and Sahel regions, Abuja (October 2013) — Workshop Report
  • Workshop for Southern Asia region, Dhaka (May 2012) — Workshop Report
  • Workshop for Southern Africa region, Windhoek (October 2011) — Workshop Report
  • Workshop for Eastern Africa region, Addis Ababa (July 2011) — Workshop Report
  • Workshop for Southeast Asian region, Bali (November 2010) — Workshop Report