You are here:
Global Counterterrorism Forum
The Global Counterterrorism Forum strengthens and supplements the already existing international activities relating to counterterrorism. Switzerland is, also within this framework, promoting the respect for human rights while countering terrorism and advocating for the Forum to become closely affiliated to the UN.
The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) was established in New York in September 2011. It supersedes political blocs and comprises 29 member states from all continents, plus the EU. Its main goals are to identify national and international needs in terms of combating terrorism, to develop suitable solutions and to coordinate and facilitate capacity-building activities in partnership with interested countries.
In addition to a coordination committee under the co-leadership of the USA and Turkey, the Forum comprises five working groups focusing on the following spheres of activity:
- Criminal justice and the rule of law in counterterrorism
- Prevention of violent extremism
- Sahel region
- Horn of Africa
- South-East Asia
Participation in the Global Counterterrorism Forum offers Switzerland a major platform for safeguarding its interests and values in the area of counterterrorism. Within the framework of the Forum, Switzerland also promotes the respect of human rights and campaigns for the Forum to become closely affiliated to the activities of the UN
This means that the Forum has to pay equal attention to all four pillars of the UN's global strategy for combating terrorism:
- Fighting root causes
- Prevention and repression
- Building up state capacities
- Protection of human rights and rule of law
With a view to optimising the coordination of counterterrorism activities between the Forum, the UN and other international and regional organisations, Switzerland organised an international conference in Interlaken on 23 and 24 February 2012. At this meeting, the Members of the GCTF endorsed the central role of the UN in the global fight against terrorism.
On 14 December 2012, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter represented Switzerland at the third Ministerial Meeting of the Forum held in Abu Dhabi. During the meeting, the participants adopted two documents: The first was the “Algiers Memorandum on best practices in the prevention of kidnappings for ransom by terrorists and denying hostage takers the benefits of ransom”. The Memorandum aims to prevent ransom payments to terrorists and to step up international cooperation. The second document approved at the meeting is a “Plan of Action for Victims of Terrorism”, which outlines a package of measures aimed at providing the victims of terrorism with legal and medical assistance and support. The 3rd ministerial meeting also saw the inauguration of the Abu Dhabi Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism. Its primary purpose is to develop research, dialogue and training in this field.
The Counterterrorism Coordination Office, which is attached to the FDFA, secures Switzerland’s contacts with the Forum.