The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) – a multilateral counter-terrorism platform to strengthen civilian efforts to counter and prevent terrorist threats and violent extremism – held its 22nd Coordinating Committee meeting and 13th ministerial meeting in New York on 18 and 20 September under the co-chairmanship of  the European Union and Egypt. 

European Commission Vice-President Josep Borrell emphasized three crucial aspects in his speech:  

Firstly, how together with Egypt and GCTF partners, we are working to make the GCTF more dynamic. As global realities and threats are evolving quickly, our Forum is a driving force in developing ways and means to prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism all over the world. 

Secondly, to make it more inclusive. We are working more and more with frontline states, those who are most at threat, and frontline practitioners, from national and local government to community and civil society. A key outcome of the meetings was the accession of Kenya and Kuwait to the Forum, in the first-ever expansion since its creation in 2011. This membership expansion brings greater regional representation, inclusivity, focus on Africa and frontline states – foundational pillars of the Co-Chairs’ Strategic Priorities. 

 Thirdly, we have to be more focused and action-oriented, including working with new technologies, border security and management to tackle the movement of terrorists and on linking the state and the local levels, where prevention, de-radicalisation and reintegration can effectively take place. 

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry also confirmed Egypt’s adoption at the national level of a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism in all its security, economic and social dimensions, and its long-standing awareness of the importance of the rehabilitation and integration of former terrorists into society. 

Among others, GCTF members exchanged with local government leaders from Iraq, Kenya and Morocco on the challenges and opportunities in preventing violent extremism at the local level, with a focus on gender-sensitive approaches and a focus on youth focus; the importance of a whole-of-society approach was at the forefront of this discussion. 

Full opening video-speech and text.

Full press release EEAS.

Published on 22.09.2023

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