The GCTF Initiative to Operationalize the Berlin Memorandum.

The GCTF Initiative to Operationalize the Berlin Memorandum.

7 March 2023

The rapid evolution and proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have serious implications for international security and the development of national counterterrorism strategies and policies, as well as for domestic legal frameworks. While UAS have led directly to government and commercial efficiencies, enhanced effectiveness, and societal benefits, the technologies have also created opportunities for abuse, including by terrorist actors. The Berlin Memorandum provides more insight into the challenges, providing good practices intended to inform and guide governments in identifying, developing, and refining policies, practices, guidelines, regulations, programs, and approaches for countering the terrorist use of UAS.

The United Kingdom and the United States are partnering to bring greater awareness of the GCTF Initiative to Operationalize the Berlin Memorandum. The Initiative builds upon previous GCTF Counter--Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) efforts and helps raise awareness of and promote the practical use of the Berlin Memorandum on Good Practices for Countering Terrorist Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (2019)

This series of workshops will build a forum of experts to better understand the best practices for countering malign and illicit uses of UAS while balancing and understanding the commercial benefits of its use. These webinars will start with a launch event and initial deep dive into operationalizing the Berlin Memorandum’s twenty-six recommendations and follow-up with webinars focused on more in-depth, scenario-based discussions and simulations to help apply the recommendations to  national, regional, and international contexts.

“It is important to ensure the negative use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is deterred while encouraging its positive use and the value important applications of UAS technology brings to national and international security. By whole-of-government and whole-of-society working together, we can expand risk assessment and mitigation practices, enhance information sharing,  promote the safe and effective use of counter-UAS technology, investigate and publicly condemn terrorist attacks utilizing UAS, foster public-private partnerships, and increase outreach and education. I look forward to continuing to work with this community to help implement the GCTF’s good practices”, mentioned Deputy Coordinator Greg LoGerfo in his closing remarks.

International attention of this emerging threat was recognized by the United Nations (UN) during its Seventh Review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (UNGA Res. 75/291 adopted in June 2021) and the renewal of the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) mandate (UN Security Council Resolution 2617 adopted in December 2021) as well as during the recent UNSCR 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee special meeting held in New Delhi, India (October 28-29, 2022).