CTED conducts focused visit to Switzerland

Acting on behalf of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, its Executive Directorate (CTED) conducted a three-day focused visit to Switzerland from 27 February to 1 March 2018.

The aim of the visit was to discuss Switzerland’s progress in implementing Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005), and Council resolution 2178 (2014), on stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs).

Welcoming the delegation, H.E. Mr. Stephan Husy, Switzerland’s Ambassador-at-Large for Counter-Terrorism, noted that the visit represented a joint venture between Switzerland and the UN Security Council and reflected the strength of their ongoing dialogue.

The visit was timely, in view of the evolving threat facing Switzerland, and provided an opportunity to discuss good practices in responding to the threat, he added.

Mr. Ahmed Seif El Dawla, CTED Chief of Section and Head of Delegation, noted that Switzerland had made significant progress in implementing the relevant Council resolutions and commended Switzerland for its wide-ranging activities in support of international efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism.

The delegation met with Government officials in Bern and Geneva, and conducted an on-site visit to Geneva International Airport to assess border-management measures, including measures to prevent the movement of FTFs.

The discussions focused on legislation and judicial practice, counter-financing of terrorism, law enforcement, border control, international cooperation, countering violent extremism that leads to terrorism, the role of women in countering terrorism and violent extremism, and the need for rule-of-law-based responses to terrorism.

The delegation welcomed Switzerland’s introduction of a comprehensive national counter-terrorism Strategy and a national action plan to prevent and counter radicalization and violent extremism, and discussed with the Government ways to further strengthen Switzerland’s national framework for countering terrorism and violent extremism, as well as measures taken by Switzerland to coordinate its domestic and international efforts in those areas and ensure effective information-sharing.

Switzerland reaffirmed its strong commitment to countering terrorism in all its aspects, including the phenomena of FTFs and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and the use of the Internet and social media for terrorist purposes, and highlighted the importance of ensuring that such measures were consistent with the rule of law and international human rights law.

Switzerland also reaffirmed its determination to continue its constructive dialogue with the Committee.

The delegation included representatives of the European Police Office (Europol), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN-Women).