Having concluded its assessment visit to Turkmenistan on behalf of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, CTED has completed the first round of assessment and follow-up visits to Member States of Central Asia.“With the visit to Turkmenistan, CTED is in a better position to identify the common areas of progress and common remaining challenges in Central Asia to counter-terrorism and stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters,” CTED Section Chief Mr. Ahmed Seif El-Dawla told Government officials at the conclusion of the visit, which was conducted from 14 to 16 November 2017.
Mr. El-Dawla also stressed the potential threat posed to the region by fighters returning from the conflict zones of the Middle East.The pace of the Committee’s engagement with Central Asian States has accelerated in recent years in response to the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh) and the related phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters.Even though Turkmenistan did not suffer terrorist attacks, it nonetheless continues to introduce measures to strengthen its legislative framework and enhance security at its borders to prevent the entry of terrorists. It has also demonstrated a strong commitment to cooperating with the United Nations in countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.Turkmenistan actively supports and participates in regional efforts to implement the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Those efforts are led by the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) of the Office on Counter-Terrorism and the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), with the support of Norway and the European Union.CTED was accompanied during the visit by the Monitoring Team of the Security Council’s ISIL/Al-Qaida/Taliban Committee, the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, INTERPOL, the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, OSCE, and the Commonwealth of Independent States.The goal of the Committee’s country assessment visits is to identify progress made by the visited State in implementing the relevant Security Council resolutions on counter-terrorism, as well as areas in which it may require technical assistance.The findings of the visits help ensure that counter-terrorism commitments made at the global and regional levels are translated into legal, institutional, and operational measures in individual Member States. They also provide an opportunity to identify good national and regional practices, generate vital data for the Committee’s global surveys of the implementation of the relevant Council resolutions, and help guide international and regional partners engaged in counter-terrorism capacity-building projects.Member States of Central Asia have introduced measures to strengthen border screening processes. Their efforts to address the threat of returning foreign terrorist fighters will be facilitated by their existing data on citizens who travelled from their territories to join ISIL in Syria or in Iraq.In accordance with the relevant Council resolutions, the States of the region are also developing national comprehensive and integrated counter-terrorism strategies that transcend purely law enforcement-based responses by engaging multiple stakeholders in the society.