On 20 November 2018, the Chair of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) held an open briefing to the wider membership of the United Nations. The purpose was to discuss thematic priorities of relevance ahead of a Special meeting by the CTC on Security Council resolution 2396 (2017) and a review of the so-called Madrid Guiding Principles.
In 2015, the Counter-Terrorism Committee adopted the Madrid Guiding Principles to assist Member States in their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs). Identified at a Special meeting of the Committee held in Madrid, Spain, these principles are to be reviewed during a Special meeting of the CTC in line with Security Council resolution 2396 (2017). The Special meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee is to be held at the United Nations in New York on 13 December 2018 (more information available here.)
“Member States’ application of the Principles appears to have helped slow the global flow of FTFs. However, since 2015, increasing numbers of FTFs have attempted to return from the conflict zones of the Middle East to their countries of origin or nationality. Others have attempted to relocate to third countries. This phenomenon presents us all with an acute and growing threat,” said H.E. Meza-Cuadra, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Peru to the United Nations.
The open briefing provided an opportunity for the Chair and all UN Member States to identify and discuss practical ways to address the principal gaps that may hinder States’ abilities to appropriately detect, interdict, and where possible prosecute, rehabilitate, and reintegrate returning and relocating FTFs and their family members. The briefing also helped identify capacity-building needs.
Participants stated that an effective response to the FTF phenomenon requires that States continue to strengthen international cooperation, including on border security and information-sharing; preventing and countering incitement and recruitment to commit terrorist acts; countering terrorist narratives; developing and implementing risk assessments and intervention programmes; judicial measures; prosecution, rehabilitation, and reintegration strategies; and international judicial cooperation.
The PowerPoint presentation used during the open briefing can be accessed here.