Foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) and their travel continue to represent a considerable security threat for the international community. Detecting the cross-border movement of returning and relocating FTFs and their families from the conflict zones of Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic is a considerable challenge for Member States’ border-management and security agencies. Some FTFs are expected to continue their movements toward other conflict areas, while others will attempt to regain their countries of origin. It is essential to prevent them from creating and leading cells to recruit, radicalize, and conduct terrorist attacks.
Responding to this challenge requires a comprehensive understanding of border-management issues and tools, including the responsible use, collection, storage, and sharing of biometrics in counter-terrorism. The Security Council stresses, in its resolution 2396 (2017), that the use of biometrics will help Member States detect and identify FTFs, FTF returnees and relocators, and other terrorists.
Within this framework, the Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations, the Biometrics Institute, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) will organize a side event during the forthcoming High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies.
The side event will be open to Member and Observer States, members of the media (including photographers with valid accreditation), United Nations staff members and interns, United Nations entities, intergovernmental organizations, and specialized agencies, as well as invited guests with a valid United Nations grounds pass. The event will provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of the United Nations Compendium of Recommended Practices for the Responsible Use and Sharing of Biometrics in Counter-Terrorism.
The speakers will include a representative of the Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations; a representative of the Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations; Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General, UNOCT; Assistant Secretary-General Michèle Coninsx, Executive Director, CTED; Mr. Jean-Philippe Morange, Border Management and Law Enforcement Coordinator, CTED; Ms. Isabelle Moeller, Chief Executive, Biometrics Institute; and Mr. Roger Baldwin, Member of the Advisory Council, Biometrics Institute. The interventions will be followed by a question-and-answer session.
For additional information, please contact Ms. Sybille Eschapasse, eschapasse [at] un.org.