Photo of Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism

Vladimir Voronkov (center), Under-Secretary-General of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, at the regional conference in Vienna on challenges posed by foreign terrorist fighters. On his right Thomas Greminger, OSCE Secretary General, and Wolfgang Amadeus Brülhart, Swiss Permanent Representative to the OSCE and UN, on his left.

Joint High-Level Regional Conference on “Foreign Terrorist Fighters – Addressing Current Challenges”

The Joint High-Level Regional Conference on “Foreign Terrorist Fighters – Addressing Current Challenges” is organized by the UN Office on Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Government of Switzerland, in cooperation with the Albanian OSCE Chairmanship. The event will be held in Vienna, Austria, on 11-12 February 2020.

The overall aim of this two-day conference is to further dialogue on good practices, lessons learned and policy options in addressing the evolving Foreign Terrorist Fighters phenomenon in compliance with the rule of law and human rights.

This Regional Conference brings together national counter-terrorism coordinators or equivalent senior experts and practitioners from OSCE participating States and Partners for Cooperation along with representatives from the UN System, international and regional organizations, the private sector, civil society, and academia.

Conference sessions

The Conference has five main sessions:

  1. Responses to incitement, recruitment for and facilitation of FTF activities
  2. Preventing FTF travel
  3. Gathering and sharing of evidence
  4. Prosecution of FTFs
  5. Repatriation, rehabilitation and reintegration

In addition, a one-day civil society event is organized by UNOCT and the Global Center on Cooperative Security on the day preceding the conference. The conclusions of this event are presented during the conference.

Conference Documents

Conference opening session

More than 400 participants from over 70 countries attend the opening of the two-day conference. The opening session on 11 February 2020 included:

  • Johannes Matyassy, State Secretary, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland
  • Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General, UN Office of Counter-Terrorism
  • Thomas Greminger, Secretary General, OSCE
  • Igli Hasani, Permanent Representative of Albania, Chair of the OSCE Permanent Council
  • Ghada Fathi Waly, Executive Director, UNODC

Background of the conference

This Joint Regional High-level Conference is the seventh in a series of regional conferences. These conferences follow-up on the first UN High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States, which was convened in New York in June 2018 by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to strengthen international cooperation to combat the evolving threat of terrorism. UNOCT is partnering with Member States in different regions to co-organize these conferences, which aim to strengthen international and regional cooperation to prevent and counter terrorism and the underlying spread of violent extremism. The conferences will feed into the Second UN High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies to be held on 1-2 July 2020 in New York.

Conference Report

Joint Regional High-level Conferenceconvened by the OSCE, UNOCT and Switzerland, in cooperationwith the Albanian OSCE Chairmanship on "Foreign Terrorist Fighters Addressing Current Challenges"

To see the full report: [EN]

cover of FTF Handbook

Handbook foreign-fighter children

This Handbook lists practical guidance towards such children while also taking obligations under international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law into account.
This publication is available in: AR | EN | FR | RU