Day 1: 28 June 2018
Opening Session (open via webcast) 10:00-10:30
The Secretary-General will make an opening statement
Session I: Opportunities and challenges in strengthening international cooperation through the sharing of information, expertise and resources (closed) 10:30—13:00
“There are two key elements of any effective response to terrorism: to strengthen law enforcement and judicial cooperation to prevent attacks, and to bring terrorists to justice in full compliance with the rule of law and human rights.”
-- Michèle Coninsx, Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) and Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive
There is a strong international framework to counter terrorism through the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, General Assembly, and Security Council resolutions, as well as nineteen international conventions and protocols and many regional and bilateral instruments. However, Member States need to overcome the barriers that prevent the timely and effective sharing of critical and often secure information about identified or suspected transnational terrorists and their facilitators. Critical information includes, among others, biometric data, travel records and banking and financial information to assist law enforcement efforts to detect, identify, disrupt and prosecute terrorist networks before they carry out attacks.
The focus has to shift towards a pragmatic and practical approach that focuses on enhancing the technical and operational methods of countering terrorism and mobilizing multilateral cooperation at the national, regional and global levels.
Session II: Combatting the evolving threat from Foreign Terrorist Fighters (closed) 15:00-18:00
“The concern is what these foreign terrorist fighters will do with the skills acquired in battle and the networks which facilitated their recruitment after they leave the conflict zones.”
-- Statement by INTERPOL Secretary General Stock
The threat stemming from foreign terrorist fighters affects all Member States. Reports suggest that at one stage over 40,000 foreign terrorist fighters from more than 110 countries may have travelled to join terrorist groups associated with Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Qaida.
Following the major military setbacks experienced by ISIL, many fighters have returned home or relocated to other countries which has fueled existing conflicts and further destabilized fragile regions. Many returnees are well trained and equipped to carry out attacks in their own countries and are aiming to radicalize and recruit new followers. Among them are family members, including spouses and children, who accompanied foreign terrorist fighters and are now relocating or returning to their countries. The United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 2396 (2017) in December 2017, which called on Member States to strengthen measures to prevent the transit of terrorists, including the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data and Advanced Passenger Information (API).
Day 2: 29 June 2018 (Open via webcast)
Session III: Strengthening global action to prevent violent extremism including by engaging youth and preventing misuse of new technologies and the internet by terrorists. 10:00-13:00
“If we want to tackle extremism, we need to understand that it is a reaction to a perceived failure in development, by specific social groups that have suffered from horizontal inequalities, in addition to facing cycles of violence and poverty.”
-- Statement by Achim Steiner, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator
Young people are an overwhelmingly positive asset to our societies with their idealism, creativity and dynamism. Member States, United Nations entities, regional and sub-regional organizations and relevant actors to engage young people and to empower youth through the promotion of media and information literacy, by including young people in decision-making processes and the development of relevant programmes and initiatives aimed at preventing violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism. Technological advances in recent years have made it easier for terrorists to spread propaganda and recruit followers online.
Session IV: Strengthening the role and capacity of the United Nations to support Member States to implement the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy 15:00-17:30
“The complex and evolving threat of terrorism demands that the United Nations adopt an efficient, coherent and coordinated response.”
-- Statement by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
Member States have the primary responsibility for countering terrorism. However, the United Nations has a key role to play in supporting Member States to implement the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in a balanced manner. The United Nations Secretary-General has made countering terrorism one of his top priorities and supported the creation of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, which was established by General Assembly resolution 71/291 in June 2017, to provide strategic leadership to United Nations counter-terrorism efforts. The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact, signed by the United Nations Secretary-General and 36 United Nations entities, plus INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization, will ensure the United Nations adopts a coherent and coordinated approach to support Member States address the complex and evolving threat of terrorism.
Closing Session 17:30-18:00 (open via webcast)
The Secretary-General will make a closing statement.