On 3-4 May 2018, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) participated in a high-level international conference on Countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism. Held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, the conference was co-organized by the Government of Tajikistan, several United Nations bodies, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the European Union (EU), with financial support from the State of Qatar.
CTED Executive Director Michèle Coninsx delivered a statement during the plenary session of the conference, highlighting CTED’s current efforts aimed at countering terrorism and the evolution of its mandate pursuant to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, as well as its work in Central Asia. One of CTED’s Legal Officers also delivered a presentation on evolving new threats and terrorist tactics with a focus on returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs).
The main objectives of the Conference included creating a common understanding of current challenges and obstacles in the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in the region and globally; exploring opportunities for strengthening partnerships and cooperation at national, regional, and international levels; sharing opportunities and challenges of Tajikistan’s National Counter-Terrorism Strategy implementation; identifying trends and challenges of radicalization, and the role of youth, ideology and information in preventing and countering violent extremism leading to terrorism; exchanging experiences in countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism with a focus on FTF threat prevention; stock-taking of domestic and regional mechanisms to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism; and strengthening cooperation against cyber-terrorism and developing directives/guidelines for countering violent extremism in cyber space.
The conference was attended by delegations from 47 Member States, several United Nations delegations, and many regional organizations.
On the margins of the conference, Ms. Coninsx held several bilateral meetings, some of these jointly with UNOCT, the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy (UNRCCA), and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). These meetings included discussions with the President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan, high-level officials of Afghanistan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan, the UN Resident Coordinator in Tajikistan, and heads of regional organizations.
In the last three years, CTED has conducted assessment visits, on the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s behalf, to all five countries of Central Asia, and is working closely with UNOCT in the framework of the third phase of the Joint Plan of Action (JPoA) for Central Asia, which was launched on 30 April 2018 in Ashgabat. The recommendations made during these country visits – including those requiring the provision of technical assistance – will be addressed at the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s open briefing in New York on 2 July 2018.