The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) facilitated the organization by its implementing partners, the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism-The Hague (ICCT) and the Human Security Collective, of a national workshop on the effective implementation of Security Council resolutions 1624 (2005) and 2178 (2014) on 3 and 4 November 2015 in Tunis.
The discussions focused on the development of an effective programme in Tunisia for countering incitement and violent extremism through a comprehensive approach involving both law enforcement measures and other steps to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.
The workshop opened with an address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia, H.E. Mr. Taieb Baccouche. Participants included members of the National Commission against Terrorism and Violent Extremism; representatives of the ministries of, inter alia, education, religious affairs and social affairs; and several members of civil society. The Commission is chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and composed of a range of law enforcement bodies. It is currently finalizing a national strategy against extremism and terrorism, for which CTED has been providing expert advice.
In his opening remarks on behalf of CTED, Senior Legal Officer Mr. Jean-Philippe Morange noted that the national strategy should not be seen as an end in itself, but rather as the first step in a process leading to a plan of action for implementing the strategy. Countering violent extremism, or CVE, could be a key element in the plan of action, alongside other areas such as effective law enforcement, border control, and respect for human rights. Mr. Morange noted that civil society can play a key role in strengthening actions taken by States against violent extremism, by helping to identify risks as well as implementing projects to respond to and prevent the threat.
The discussions that took place during the workshop were primarily aimed at developing possible project ideas for implementing the national strategy once it is formally adopted. The participants proposed actions in a number of areas, including strengthening peace education, developing counter-messaging, and expanding programmes for rehabilitation and reintegration of returning foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs).
The workshop was intended as a first step in a sustained process of dialogue and confidence-building among all stakeholders, including civil society. It is hoped that more such workshops can be organized in 2016. CTED has pledged to support the Government in the implementation of the national strategy by continuing to provide advice and facilitating technical assistance from donor States and international organizations.
It should be recalled that Security Council resolution 1963 (2010) encourages CTED to arrange meetings with Member States in various formats, with their consent, and to provide advice on the development of comprehensive and integrated national counter-terrorism strategies and the mechanisms to implement them that include attention to the factors that lead to terrorist activities, in accordance with their obligations under international law.