Watchlisting Guidance Manual Initiative 

The United States and United Nations, announced the Watchlisting Guidance Manual Initiative during the Sixteen GCTF Coordinating Committee Meeting September 2019.

This Initiative aimed to promote discussion of national approaches and challenges on topics ranging from the information required to watchlist an individual, to how to resolve an encounter on a watchlisted identity, how to integrate traveler data and/or biometrics into watchlisting processes, and how to share information on a watchlist internally as well as with international partners, consistent with international law and legal standards.  The T.M.C. Asser institute is the implementing partner. 

In October 2021, the Initiative culminated with the presentation to the Nineteenth GCTF Coordinating Committee of the Counterterrorism Watchlisting Toolkit, which operationalizes the GCTF New York Memorandum on Good Practices for Interdicting Terrorist Travel, endorsed in September 2019. The New York Memorandum on Good Practices for Interdicting Terrorist Travel established good practices for policy makers to consider while developing a watchlisting and screening enterprise, and the subsequent GCTF Counterterrorism Watchlisting Toolkit helps countries implement these practices by providing nineteen recommendations for practitioners and frontline officials to consider when establishing and implementing a counterterrorism watchlist process.

Several activities will be conducted in 2022-2023 within the framework of this Initiative and under the auspices of the GCTF Foreign Terrorist Fighter (FTF) Working Group, with the following objectives:

  • Awareness raising of how to create and maintain a watchlist of known and suspected terrorists, including foreign terrorist fighters and known or suspected terrorists;
  • Understanding current efforts undertaken by GCTF partners and other nations or multilateral organizations to strengthen countries’ capacities to create and maintain watchlists;
  • Elaborating a set of areas where partners and other nations can increase engagement, assistance, and training to address these challenges; and
  • Guiding and advising on how to implement the recommendations in the Toolkit in relation to all participants’ unique environments and challenges within their own governments.