Background and Mission

Launched at a Ministerial Plenary Meeting in New York on 22 September 2011, the GCTF is an informal, a-political, multilateral counterterrorism (CT) platform that has strengthened the international architecture for addressing 21st century terrorism. Central to the Forum’s overarching mission is the promotion of a strategic, long-term approach to counter terrorism and the violent extremist ideologies that underpin it. As an action-oriented forum, the GCTF holds regular meetings focused on producing framework documents (good practices and memoranda) and the necessary materials and tools for policy-makers and practitioners to develop CT civilian capabilities, national strategies, action plans and training modules.

One of the key goals of the Forum is to support and catalyze implementation of the United Nations (UN) Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, reviewed in June 2016, and the UN CT framework more broadly, including the UN Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism presented to the UN General Assembly in January 2016. In pursuance of this goal, the GCTF works closely with UN bodies, and with other relevant international and regional organizations, to reinforce, complement, and support multilateral CT and CVE efforts.

To that end, the GCTF continues to provide a dedicated forum for national CT officials and practitioners to meet with their counterparts from key states in different regions to share experiences, expertise, strategies, tools, capacity needs, and capacity-building programs. It prioritizes civilian capacity-building in areas such as rule of law, border management, and CVE. Additionally, the GCTF works with partners around the globe to identify critical civilian needs to effectively counter terrorism, mobilize the necessary expertise and resources to address such needs, and enhance global CT cooperation.

GCTF Members have endorsed framework documents consisting of good practices, recommendations, and action plans, which address a variety of salient CT and CVE topics, including:

  • effective responses to the “foreign terrorist fighters” (FTF) phenomenon, including returning FTFs (RFTFs);
  • effective, human rights-compliant CT practices in the criminal justice sector;
  • the role of the judiciary in adjudicating terrorism offenses;
  • rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders;
  • multi-sectoral approaches to CVE;
  • community engagement and community-oriented policing as tools for CVE;
  • education and CVE;
  • the role of families in CVE;
  • preventing and denying the benefits of kidnapping for ransom by terrorists; and
  • supporting victims in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack.