17 May 2023
Recently, the 21st GCTF Coordinating Committee Meeting was held in Cairo, Egypt. This was the first meeting co-hosted by Egypt and the European Union. Over 150 senior counterterrorism and criminal justice officials and practitioners from more than thirty countries discussed future action to counter global terrorism threats. At the meeting, Co-Chairs, presented their vision for the GCTF during their tenure (2023-2025). Central to this vision is a more action-oriented and responsive Forum, delivering value where it is most needed.
H.E. Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, and H.E. Ambassador Charles Fries, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service, opened the Coordinating Committee Meeting, underscoring their joint vision for a responsive approach to the ever-changing counterterrorism landscape. In keeping with this, during the meeting, GCTF members engaged with practitioners from Africa on the challenges facing the region and the most pressing needs to tackle the rehabilitation and social reintegration of former fighters and their family members. During the event, Morocco formally handed over the Co-Chair to Egypt. The GCTF members expressed their gratitude to Morocco for its unstinting work over the past eight years as Co-Chair.
The Co-Chairs expressed their commitment to working with the GCTF members to implement a comprehensive and global approach that addresses the root causes of terrorism and provides adequate – and operational – responses to threats on the ground. They underlined the importance of a deepened engagement with other actors in so doing, while stressing the importance they attach to greater collaboration with the three Institutions “inspired” by the GCTF – the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), Hedayah, and the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) – in delivering on GCTF priorities and the Co-Chairs’ vision.
Upon the successful closure of the meeting, the Co-Chairs released a statement to underscore the revitalized and re-energized approach of the Forum. The following GCTF Coordinating Committee Meeting will take place in September, alongside the Ministerial Meeting in New York.
The side events
On the margins of the meeting, two side events were held.
- Addressing the Challenges Related to the Reintegration and Rehabilitation of FTFs and their Associated Family Members
Rehabilitating and reintegrating FTFs and their family members is complex on various dimensions such as social, security and human rights. To gain a better understanding of the complexities, collective dialogue and information exchange on capacity building and on the strengthening of good practices tailored to local contexts and human security perspectives, is essential. On 2 May, an interactive, in-person side event was made possible by the Foreign Terrorist Fighter Working Group (FTF WG), co-chaired by the United States and Jordan, and the Countering Violent Extremism Working Group (CVE WG), co-chaired by Australia and Indonesia. Read more here.
- Through an African Lens: An Evolving Terrorist Landscape on the African continent
According to the 2023 Global Terrorism Index, terrorist attacks became more deadly in 2022, killing on average 1.7 people per attack in 2022, compared to 1.3 deaths per attack in 2021. While there has been an overall reduction in the impact of terrorism globally, the African continent continues to be home to violence. Despite considerable efforts, the relative gains achieved through militarized approaches have not managed to stop the spiral of terrorism and violence in the region. The GCTF Co-Chairs, Egypt and the European Union, with the support of the Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding (CCCPA) and the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ), organized an in-person side event on 3 May, where practitioners shared real cases and challenges with the Forum, to work towards a sustainable, comprehensive approach to counterterrorism and the prevention of violent extremism. Read more here.
The Global Counterterrorism Forum
The Global Counterterrorism Forum was established in 2011 by 30 Members as an informal, apolitical, multilateral counterterrorism platform to strengthen international efforts in the strategic, long-term approach to counterterrorism and preventing and countering violent extremism conducive to terrorism. It has since responded to new and emerging threats through the development of practical tools for policymakers and practitioners. Website: https://www.thegctf.org/