As an informal, apolitical, multilateral platform, the GCTF works to develop and strengthen a long-term civilian-led approach to counter terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism. GCTF Members come together to discuss current and emerging counterterrorism topics. A diversity of partners is regularly invited to contribute to these deliberations. Much of this work sets out to develop or to highlight the practical use of recommendations and good practices. These are non-binding documents, produced by the GCTF that policymakers and practitioners can use whenever they seek guidance on specific subjects related to counterterrorism and preventing and countering violent extremism conducive to terrorism. In 2021, for instance, the GCTF produced several new outputs, including good practices for countering the financing of terrorism while safeguarding civic space.
To reach a wide audience, it is essential to promote these documents and related tools and manuals and interactive content. In this context, the OSCE saw value in using the GCTF Rabat Memorandum on Good Practices for Effective Counterterrorism Practice in the Criminal Justice Sector—a document designed to assist judges, prosecutors and law enforcement to implement and promote a rule of law-based criminal justice sector response to terrorism.
The Rabat Memorandum was promoted across the OSCE area, and more precisely in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Central Asia. Over the course of five years, 12 workshops were organized in 12 States, including in Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In each and every case, the OSCE consulted with the governments on the needs of the practitioners and organized workshops that consisted of an exchange of information among international experts and their national counterparts. The most frequently discussed topics included the good practices (GP) dealing with:
- the Protection of Victims, Witnesses, Informants, Undercover Agents, etc. in Counterterrorism Cases (GP1);
- Cooperation and Coordination among Domestic Government Agencies (GP 2);
- the Provision of a Legal Framework and Practical Measures for Electronic Surveillance in Counterterrorism Investigations (GP4); and,
- Practices and Procedures to Encourage International Cooperation in Counterterrorism Matters (GP 9).
Not only has the OSCE promoted the use of GCTF outputs, it has also provided translations of a number of GCTF Framework Documents into a variety of languages, including the Rabat Memorandum in Bosnian, Bulgarian and Russian.
Photo credit: OSCE/Mikhail Evstafiev