23rd Coordinating Committee Meeting: Focus on Africa and Holistic Approaches to Counterterrorism

23rd Coordinating Committee Meeting: Focus on Africa and Holistic Approaches to Counterterrorism

01 March 2024

The GCTF 23rd Coordinating Committee Meeting, co-chaired by Egypt and the European Union, and hosted by one of the Forum’s newly admitted members, Kenya who also took an active part in delivering various events and engagements together with the European Union throughout the week. The predominant focus was an inclusive, whole-of-society approach to counterterrorism and P/CVE in Africa.

During the principal meeting, the GCTF Co-Chairs renewed their mandate for two more years and acclaimed the Co-Chair mandates of the Forum’s five working groups. Kenya and Kuwait, who were welcomed into the Forum as new Members in September 2023, revived the East Africa Capacity-Building Working Group to spearhead efforts to address the rising threat of terrorism, radicalization, and violent extremism conducive to terrorism in the region. The Members reviewed past activities and outlook to ensure alignment with the strategic priorities of the GCTF Co-Chairs. The Forum’s partners – the GCTF-Inspired Institutions: the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), Hedayah, and the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) – highlighted the collaborative efforts with Members, and opportunities for further collaboration on the prosecution, rehabilitation, and reintegration of former terrorists. GCTF Members, Kenya and Germany, launched a new GCTF Initiative on the Nexus between Climate Change and Violent Extremism, with GCERF as the Implementing Partner. The Initiative was launched timely, during the same week of the United Nations Sixth Environmental Assembly (UNEA-6) held in Nairobi, Kenya.

The side events

Various side events were held on the Meeting’s margins. The West Africa Capacity-Building Working Group (WA WG) Co-Chairs, Algeria and Germany, took stock of the working group’s past activities and featured key regional partners who spoke of the Working Group’s convening power and the added value of the working group’s series of thematic regional meetings, shedding light on the national capacity-building activities delivered with the support of UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch.

The EU-led Oversight and Accountability Initiative hosted a transregional meeting convening experts from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia to inform an anticipated set of GCTF non-binding, practical recommendations on compliance with human rights in a counterterrorism context. Further efforts by the EU in coordination with Kenya, was the hosting of a consultation with local civil society representatives on how best to effectively engage civil society in the prosecution, rehabilitation, and reintegration (PRR) of former terrorists, a consultation that built on the rehabilitation and reintegration discussions initiated at the Ministerial Plenary in September 2023.

The Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Working Group Co-Chairs, Australia, and Indonesia, held their Twelfth Plenary, where participants reflected on delivered activities and celebrated the convening efforts of the working group to address the conditions conducive to the spread of violent extremism conducive to terrorism.

The week’s landmark side event focused on East Africa, co-led by the EU and Kenya, which addressed the rising threat of violent extremism conducive to terrorism in East Africa and the collaborative action required to counter the threat. The event included representatives from regional mechanisms that coordinate CT/PCVE efforts, that ensured a comprehensive understanding of the regional landscape and enabled a discussion on a holistic approach to addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism, including terrorism financing and media strategies.

Running in parallel with the side events on 28 February, was a pilot training hosted by the GCTF and the Inspired Institutions that provided foundational training to assist with the swift onboarding of new working-level official hires from Members. The objective of the training was to provide newly appointed officials from GCTF Members with a comprehensive understanding of the Forum’s inner workings and how the GCTF Framework Documents are activated through the efforts and partnership with the Inspired Institutions.

The week’s meetings concluded with a field visit to Kenyan local communities where there was room for participants to engage on the challenges faced in their fight against terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism.

The following GCTF Coordinating Committee Meeting will take place in September 2024.