28 February 2023
Critical infrastructure across the world is becoming more vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Terrorists have increasingly explored and exploited vulnerabilities in public and private facilities across all sectors, including transportation and energy, as well as schools and marketplaces. They have also developed the knowledge to conduct hybrid and complex attacks including against information and communication technologies (ICT) or ICT-dependent infrastructure. Addressing this emerging threat requires a comprehensive approach and appropriate countermeasures.
During the ‘Eighth GCTF Counter-Terrorism Compact Partnership Consultation’, held 22 September 2022 in New York, the United Nations (UN) Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact Working Groups presented the ‘Global Programme to Counter Terrorist Threats against Vulnerable Targets’ and proposed the further strengthening of cooperation on this key topic. Building on the contents of this meeting, the UNOCT and GCTF partnered to deliver a briefing titled: ‘Briefing for GCTF Member States on the Protection of Vulnerable Targets, the Antalya Memorandum and Possible Avenues of Cooperation’ which was held recently.
At the briefing, insights were shared on current terrorist threats to vulnerable infrastructure and soft targets, the work of the UN to support Member States in this area, and the relevance of the GCTF Antalya Memorandum. Furthermore, ideas on cooperation to promote the practical use of the Antalya Memorandum’s good practices were shared between the two organisations.
“The threat to vulnerable infrastructure and soft targets continues today. The Antalya Memorandum on the Protection of Soft Targets in a Counterterrorism Context is a great resource for policy makers and practitioners. We welcome the UNOCT Programme, and continue to look for ways to reinforce our cooperation and engagement on a number of pertinent issues, including the protection of vulnerable targets”, said Nadia Costantini, Head of CT-division, EEAS, EU on behalf of the GCTF Co-Chairs.
The briefing will contribute to strengthening practical cooperation to further protect vulnerable targets in line with responses from GCTF Members.