SRSG NATALIA GHERMAN PARTICIPATES IN THE HIGH-LEVEL CONFERENCE ON “FOREIGN TERRORIST FIGHTERS – ADDRESSING CURRENT CHALLENGES”
On 11-12 February 2020, SRSG Natalia Gherman took part in the high-level conference “Foreign Terrorist Fighters – Addressing Current Challenges,” which was held in Vienna, Austria. The aim of the conference was to explore policy options in addressing challenges related to the foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) phenomenon in compliance with international law, including human rights, and taking into consideration best practices and lessons learned.
The conference was organized by the OSCE, UNOCT and the Government of Switzerland, in cooperation with the Albanian OSCE Chairmanship. It brought together more than 400 senior experts, practitioners and civil society activists from over 40 countries, as well as representatives from international and regional organizations.
Centrality of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in strengthening international, regional and bilateral cooperation was emphasized during discussions. In this context, the SRSG in her intervention, informed about the Joint Plan of Action to implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia, which is unique and the first plan tailored to a specific region anywhere in the world. She also briefed on concrete activities taken by UNRCCA and UNOCT under the Joint Plan of Action.
Participants stressed the necessity for urgent actions to address the needs of children linked with terrorists and to develop key principles for the protection, rehabilitation and reintegration of women and children affiliated with terrorist groups. Participants also underlined the importance of enhancing Member States’ capacity in dealing with foreign terrorist fighters, bringing terrorists to justice, addressing terrorist recruitment and misuse of technologies as well as interacting with youth and civil society groups.
On the margins of the conference several side events were organized. The Government of Turkmenistan organized a side-event on its newly adopted National Strategy on Prevention of Violent Extremism and Countering Terrorism for 2020-2024, which was developed with the support of UNRCCA and UNOCT. The Government of Kazakhstan held a meeting on rehabilitation and reintegration of ISIS family members and shared its best practices on the successful Jusan and Rusafa humanitarian operations.