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.
The Conference has five main sessions:
- Responses to incitement, recruitment for and facilitation of FTF activities
- Preventing FTF travel
- Gathering and sharing of evidence
- Prosecution of FTFs
- 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.
- Statement by Mr. Voronkov at the opening Session (11 February)
- Press release on the opening of the conference (11 February)
- Summary Conclusions of the Vienna conference (12 February)
- Press release on the closing of the conference (12 February)
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.
UN Documents and publication relevant to this conference:
- UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (2006) and subsequent review resolutions
- UN Security Council resolutions 2427 (2018)
- UN Security Council resolution 2396 (2017)
- UN Security Council resolutions 2178 (2014)
- 2015 Madrid Guiding Principles on FTFs and the 2018 Addendum thereto
- Key Principles for the Protection, Repatriation, Prosecution, Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Women and Children with Links to UN-listed Terrorist Groups