On 6 May 2019, a high-level delegation of the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate visited NATO Headquarters in Brussels to discuss the latest emerging threats of terrorism, foreign terrorist fighters and returnees, as well as possible areas for enhancing cooperation. Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra (Chair of the Counter Terrorism Committee, or CTC) and Michele Coninsx (Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, or CTED), accompanied by CTED’s Chief of Section for Europe, Middle East and Central Asia, A.E. Seif El-Dawla, briefed NATO diplomatic representatives and officials, including Dr. Antonio Missiroli (Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges), Robert Weaver (Deputy Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges) and James Appathurai (Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy).
They highlighted lessons learned from more than 150 assessment field visits, as well as UN tools and guidelines that aim at supporting the efforts of member states and international partners in addressing challenges related to countering terrorism. They recalled the Counter-Terrorism Committee special meetings held with representatives of member states, UN partners and international organizations on relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including the Addendum to the Madrid Guiding Principles on stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters and returnees. “The full and effective implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions by member states and effective cooperation at the international level are of critical importance to address the evolving threats posed by terrorism, foreign terrorist fighters, and returnees,” said Amb. Meza-Cuadra. “It is vital that states continuously monitor, evaluate and review the effectiveness of their prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration strategies and programmes with due regard to the protection of international human rights and taking into consideration age and gender sensitivities,” highlighted ASG Coninsx.
The high-level visit provided also an opportunity to reconfirm the commitment by NATO and the United Nations to boost their political dialogue and practical cooperation in different realms, in the spirit of complementarity, including information sharing on emerging threats and regional terrorist challenges, capacity building programmes designed to improve states’ counter-terrorism capabilities, joint briefings, and sharing of best practices, including with respect to the use of biometrics, battle-field evidence and countering drones.