The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) participated in an international symposium on “Radicalization and extremism”, which was held in Ankara from 21 to 23 October 2019. Organized by the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM), and sponsored by the European Union, the symposium aimed to facilitate the analysis of tools and measures to address radicalization, violent extremism, and the foreign terrorist fighter (FTF) phenomenon.
CTED informed participants that, in the context of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee’s country assessments, the Committee and CTED paid close attention to issues relating to human rights and the rule of law and worked continuously with Member States to ensure that all their counter-terrorism efforts were in compliance. CTED stressed that the promotion of community engagement can play an important role in countering violent extremism conducive to terrorism and tackling other forms of intolerance, discrimination, and sectarian violence. Counter-terrorism policies, however, should not replace other community cohesion or development programmes.It must be borne in mind that social programs may be less effective, and civil society space may shrink, if such programs are approached exclusively through a security mindset.
CTED further underlined the importance to understand the roots of violent extremist behaviour and to develop and share experiences gathered from programmes aimed at promoting inclusion and the free expression of views. Civil society plays an important role in the context of countering terrorism and violent extremism by addressing the challenges faced by civil society actors and human rights defenders in the context of current counter-terrorism frameworks and practices. Taking legal measures against civil society for acts that are protected by international human rights law would be a serious misuse of law. It could also be counter-productive in the context of counter-terrorism and contribute to increased radicalization.
Participants in the international symposium included representatives of Member States, international and regional organizations, civil society, academic experts, youth, and trainers.
More information about the symposium is available here.