The Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) is a Special Political Mission of the United Nations. As its mandate was about to reach the end of its four-year term in December 2017, CTED provided the Security Council with two documents – one on the Executive Directorate’s activities and achievements 2014-2017, and one vision paper with suggestions for the forthcoming mandate (2018-2021).
According to the overview, terrorism continues to pose a grave threat to international peace and security. Over recent years, the global security landscape has become significantly more complex, volatile, and challenging, as terrorists and terrorist organizations and their affiliate and cells continue to adapt their tactics and methods. Terrorist groups, including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or Da’esh), have increasingly urged their supporters to carry out attacks in the name of the group, wherever located and using any means available. Most such attacks are directed at poorly protected civilian targets (so-called soft targets).
Also according to the overview, Member States have made considerable progress in their efforts to review, amend, and update their national legislation to strengthen their capacities to bring terrorists to justice while protecting international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law. Nevertheless, legislative gaps remain in many parts of the world, and global legislative disparities continue to impede international cooperation. The need to counter incitement and violent extremism is only one of several challenges.
During the period under review, CTED conducted 53 visits to Member States in all five United Nations regional group, bringing the total number of visits and follow-up visits since 2005 to 136, covering over half of the UN’s Member States. The assessment visits enable the Directorate to gather information about the current threat level in the visited State and the measures taken to address it. They also help strengthen coordination and collaboration at the national level by facilitating dialogue among key national stakeholders.
Looking ahead, CTED’s Executive Director in her vision paper to the Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee identified challenges and presented suggestions. The latter include ideas on how to further strengthen the Executive Directorate’s assessments and methodology, enhance impact through follow-up, facilitate technical assistance delivery and implementation of Committee recommendations, as well as how to strengthen the impact of CTED’s analysis and identification of challenges, gaps, and trends.
Both documents were conveyed to the Council by the then-Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, H.E. Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations. They are now available in all official languages of the United Nations as Security Council document S/2017/1101.