On 17 November 2016, Paris Prosecutor François Molins of France and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz of the United States briefed the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee.
Since terrorism is a global threat to peace and security requiring a global response, Messieurs Molins and Swartz underscored the importance of international cooperation in mutual legal assistance matters. Both speakers provided concrete examples of good practices in this area, such as information sharing as foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) cross national borders, law enforcement and prosecutorial liaisons at embassies, and more formally through mutual legal assistance treaties. Coordination with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) was recommended by both speakers. Mr. Emmanuel Roux, Special Representative of INTERPOL to the United Nations and present at the briefing, called on Member States to utilize the INTERPOL FTF database as it already exists, allowing Member States to gain time in the search for information about foreign terrorist fighters.
In addition, Messieurs Molins and Swartz spoke about challenges both France and the U.S. face in countering terrorism, including the collection of electronic evidence in terrorism cases. Both speakers called for more public-private cooperation, since Internet providers are important partners in addressing this challenge.
Delegates mentioned the upcoming Counter-Terrorism Committee special meeting on 1 December on “Preventing the exploitation of information and communication technologies (ICT) for terrorist purposes, while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms,” whose participants will include, inter alia, representatives from the private sector, faith-based leaders, and international and regional organizations.
Delegates also underscored the importance of the various United Nations conventions and resolutions that provide a framework for international judicial cooperation. Mr. Molins and Mr. Swartz noted the important role the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) plays in convening regional workshops, and called on Member States to continue their cooperation in countering the global threat of terrorism.