In June 2018, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres convened the first-ever United Nations High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States in New York, under the theme “Strengthening international cooperation to combat the evolving threat of terrorism”. More than a thousand participants from 150 Member States, 30 international and regional organisations, 55 civil society organisations and 31 United Nations entities attended the event. The High-Level Conference was held back-to-back with the Sixth Biennial Review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, creating for the first time a Counter-Terrorism Week at the United Nations in New York.
One of the key outcomes of the conference, on the initiative of Secretary-General Guterres, was for UNOCT to partner with Member States to organise several Regional High-level Conferences in order to keep up the momentum on key counter-terrorism issues and strengthen international cooperation. The Regional High-level Conferences are organised in the lead-up to the next High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States, in June 2020, to promote implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.
The Regional High-level Conferences serve as a platform for Member States to exchange information, expertise and resources, develop partnerships, and collectively address a range of critical counter-terrorism issues. They support a multilateral approach to countering the enduring and evolving transnational threat of terrorism, within the framework of international law and human rights, through:
- Promoting the comprehensive and balanced implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and other relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council
- Promoting regional and international cooperation and partnerships
- Facilitating dialogue and the exchange of experiences in developing and implementing whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches to counter-terrorism, including to prevent and counter violent extremism conducive to terrorism
- Strengthening political support for the UN’s counter-terrorism efforts
- Promote practical engagement with civil society partners, including women and youth groups
- Preparing for the Second United Nations High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States in 2020 in New York
An overview of the Regional Conferences
- 3-4 September 2019 in Minsk (Republic of Belarus): Countering terrorism through innovative approaches and the use of new and emerging technologies
- 7-8 November 2019 in Budapest (Republic of Hungary): Prevention of radicalization to terrorism: Regional policy responses and risk mitigation
- 18-19 December 2019 in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates): Empowering youth and promoting tolerance: practical approaches to countering terrorist radicalization and terrorism
- 16-17 May 2019 in Dushanbe (Tajikistan): International and regional cooperation on countering terrorism and its financing through illicit drug trafficking and organized crime
- 20-21 June 2019 in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia): Whole-of-Society-Approach to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism
- 10-11 July 2019 in Nairobi (Republic of Kenya): Counter terrorism and the prevention of violent extremism conducive to terrorism