The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) provides advice and support to the UN Secretary-General and the United Nations system in the discharge of the Secretariat’s global responsibilities related to the comprehensive implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and under the relevant mandates of the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council.
The governance framework of the UNOCT includes the Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism as head of Office, the Senior Management Team, and the Programme Review Board.
- The Under-Secretary-General is responsible for the administration and activities of the UNOCT. The Under-Secretary-General concurrently serves as the Executive Director of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) and as Chairperson of the Coordination Committee of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact .
- The Senior Management Team of the UNOCT is chaired by the Under-Secretary-General and comprises the Directors and Chiefs. The Senior Management Team is responsible for the strategic management and coordination of all of the Office’s activities, and monitors implementation of decisions made by the Under-Secretary-General.
- The Programme Review Board of the UNOCT is responsible for quality control and quality assurance with regard to proposed programmes and projects; for monitoring of ongoing projects; and for close-out of completed projects funded through the Trust Fund for Counter-Terrorism. The Programme Review Board advises and makes recommendations to the Under-Secretary-General on the alignment of proposals with the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, mandates of the General Assembly and the Security Council, policies, rules and regulations of the United Nations, directives, guidelines and standard operating procedures of the Office of Counter-Terrorism.
The five organizational units
The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism is divided into five organizational units:
Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism (OUSG)
Reporting directly to the Under-Secretary-General is the position of Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General, at the Director level. The OUSG, which is headed by a Chief of Office, supports the Under-Secretary-General in carrying out his responsibilities and is comprised of three sections responsible for: front office operations and communications; donor relations and resource mobilization; and appeal management and coordination with the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate.
The Under-Secretary-General, in the performance of his or her activities as Executive Director of the UNCCT, is assisted by a Director, who supports both the Under-Secretary-General and the Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General in guiding and supervising the work of UNCCT. The main responsibility of UNCCT is to provide capacity-building assistance, as a Centre of Excellence, to support Member States’ efforts to counter terrorism and prevent and counter violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism, in line with the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, as well as the UNCCT Vision Statement, the UNCCT Five-Year Plan and the guidance of the UNCCT Advisory Board. This is particularly done in coordination with Global Compact entities through an “all-of-UN” approach, and by building partnerships with Member States, international, regional and sub-regional organizations, civil society organizations,private sector, academic institutions and think-tanks, as relevant.
Special Projects and Innovation Branch (SPIB)
The Special Projects and Innovation Branch is headed by a Chief. The Branch is responsible for leading in the conceptualization, development and implementation of special technical assistance programmes that require increased coordination and partnership with other Global Compact entities and the UNCCT; developing the Office’s surge capacity to better assist Member States; forging partnerships including with the private sector, academia and other public sector organizations; and developing, designing and implementing, in close collaboration with UNCCT, innovative and technological solutions applied to preventing and countering terrorism in areas such as countering terrorist travel, protection of critical infrastructure and soft targets, sports, investigative capacity, and parliamentary engagement.
Policy, Knowledge Management and Coordination Branch (PKMCB)
The Policy, Knowledge Management and Coordination Branch is headed by a Chief. The core functions of the Branch include: providing strategic counter-terrorism policy advice and analysis on country/regional engagement and key thematic issues; drafting and coordinating the preparation of reports of the Secretary-General on counter-terrorism, as mandated by the General Assembly and the Security Council; promoting coordination and coherence in the counter-terrorism and PVE work of the United Nations system; developing and strengthening relations with Member States, and partnerships with international, regional and sub-regional organizations, including civil society organizations; supporting relevant intergovernmental processes as mandated, including the biennial review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy; and supporting the conceptualization, planning and organization of major UNOCT policy events.
The Strategic Planning and Programme Support Section (SPPSS)
The Section, which is headed by a Chief, is responsible for strategic longer-term planning of UNOCT activities; prioritization and allocation of resources; coordination with legislative, governing and oversight bodies of the United Nations; development of regular budget programme and project budget proposals of UNOCT; risk assessment and risk mitigation plans; monitoring and evaluation of activities undertaken by and under the mandate of UNOCT; coordinating the Office’s activities with the Department of Safety and Security, and in accordance with the United Nations Security Management System; providing human resources services to the organizational units of the Office; facilitating administration of delegation of authority through policy advice; supporting the Office of the Under-Secretary-General in ensuring compliance of United Nations rules and regulations, as well as UNOCT standard operating procedures, directives and instructions.
Who is who
|Under-Secretary-General of the Office of Counter-Terrorism
Executive Director of UNCCT
|Mr. Vladimir Voronkov|
|Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General and Director||Mr. Raffi Gregorian|
|United Nations Counter Terrorism Centre (UNCCT)|
|Director||Mr. Jehangir Khan|
Since its inception in 2017, the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism has sought to deliver, in the most effective manner, on its mandates at the global, regional and national levels. General Assembly resolution 71/291 emphasized “the need to ensure that the Office of Counter-Terrorism, to be headed by an Under-Secretary-General, is provided with adequate capacity and other resources for the implementation of its mandated activities” (para 4), and General Assembly resolution 72/284 requested “the Secretary-General to ensure that the Office is well organized, in order to achieve [transparency, accountability and effectiveness in enhancing cooperation]” (para 62).
In order to meet these mandates and the increasing requests from Member States to get UNOCT closer to the field, and better understand their priorities and needs; ensure sustainability and a responsible use of UNOCT’s financial resources; and better fulfil UNOCT’s mandate to provide leadership, strengthen coordination of UN counter-terrorism efforts and deliver capacity-building assistance with real impact on the ground, UNOCT has developed its field presence under two modalities:
- Programme/Project Support Offices (PSOs), which focus on carrying out or assisting the implementation of UNOCT’s capacity-building projects and activities in a given region, and often specializing on a topic of particular relevance to it. In this category are the PSOs in: Ashgabat, Bangkok, Budapest and Nouakchott.
- Liaison and Coordination Offices (LCOs), which focus on developing partnerships—including with donors, beneficiaries and relevant stakeholders—and ensuring appropriate coordination of UNOCT’s efforts and engagement with the host country, relevant regional Member States and other international, regional and civil society organizations. In this category are the LCOs in: Brussels and Dhaka.