24 - 25 October 2023
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, have become ubiquitous over the years. While they have brought countless benefits for commercial and governmental use, the technologies have also created opportunities for abuse, also by terrorist actors. The United Kingdom and the United States have partnered to bring greater awareness via a new Initiative, the GCTF Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems and New, Emerging, and Disruptive Technologies Initiative. Virtual workshops will be part of the activities included in this new Initiative and are set to bring focus on new and emerging technologies related to UAS by means of thorough, in-depth, scenario-based discussions and simulations to help apply the recommendations to national, regional, and international contexts.
Recently, the second virtual workshop was held. Here, simulations helped bring to life the twenty-six recommendations and support a network of experts in their understanding of the best practices. The series of workshops is intended to enable a forum of experts to better understand the best practices for countering malign and illicit uses of UAS and includes new and emerging technologies in relation to UAS, enabling a clearer understanding to be had of how the technologies can be embraced, as well as how they are being exploited.
The GCTF Berlin Memorandum on Good Practices for Countering Terrorist Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (2019) 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.
International attention of this emerging threat was recognized by the United Nations (UN) during its Seventh Review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) 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 (UN Security Council resolutions) 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee special meeting held in New Delhi, India (October 28-29, 2022).