Third UNOCT-Civil Society Roundtable

The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism held the Third UNOCT-Civil Society Roundtable Event held virtually on 29 November, from 09:30AM-11:00AM EST.

In line with the UNOCT Civil Society Engagement Strategy launched in January 2020, the roundtable sought to strengthen and mainstream the Office’s partnerships with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and draw upon the diverse expertise, experience, outreach, and knowledge of civil society at the local, national, regional, and global level in its CT and P/CVE efforts. 

The third event in a series of roundtables hosted a group of 30 CSOs from grassroots organizations, regional, and international non-profits, ensuring geographical diversity and including several women and youth-led organizations.

The roundtable was moderated by Dr. Raffi Gregorian, Director and Deputy to Under Secretary-General of UNOCT, who highlighted the unique contribution of CSOs in CT and P/CVE efforts. “UNOCT is committed to strengthening its engagement with Civil Society Organizations to gain valuable grassroots perspectives on counter-terrorism and PCVE initiatives in an effort to promote whole-of-society approaches in accordance with human rights standards,” he said.

In his opening remarks, he provided an overview of the 76th review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, highlights of the participation of CSOs during the Second Counter Terrorism Week held in June 2021. He also presented the Office’s priorities and upcoming activities related to civil society engagement, including a Conference scheduled for early 2022 on Human Rights, Civil Society and Counter Terrorism in Málaga, Spain. He also provided an overview of the forthcoming UNOCT Strategic Plan and Programme Framework, to be launched in early 2022. CSOs had the opportunity to engage in an interactive session providing perspectives and inputs on the overview presented. 

In the second segment, Dr. Raffi Gregorian presented the proposed new format for the 2022 CSOs Roundtable Series. The first half of these series was dedicated to a high-level dialogue, and the second half featured in-depth discussions on pre-determined thematic areas or regions that are linked to the Office’s programmatic activities and priorities. 

The objective of the new format is to foster meaningful, continuous, systematic and structured engagement with CSOs and more practical outcomes for the work of UNOCT, both at the policy and programmatic levels.  

Participants expressed interest in the new roundtable format to be launched in February 2022 in preparation for the 2022 Málaga Conference on human rights and counter-terrorism. 

The event demonstrated UNOCT’s readiness to foster engagement with Civil Society Organizations in CT and P/CVE efforts in line with the seventh review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.