This workshop, organized by the Secretariat's Transnational Threats Department and the OSCE Office in Tajikistan in consultation with the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), aims to provide a platform for a first regional exchange of views and experiences with regard to the threat of foreign terrorist fighters in Central Asia.
The threat of foreign terrorist fighters is very high on the agenda of the International Community, including the OSCE. The Swiss OSCE Chairmanship convened on 23-24 April 2014 an OSCE-wide counter-terrorism conference in Interlaken at the level of national counterterrorism co-ordinators, which highlighted the shared concern of all OSCE participating States with regard to this issue. Subsequently, the OSCE Ministerial Council, meeting in Basel on 4-5 December 2014, adopted a Declaration on The OSCE Role in Countering the Phenomenon of Foreign Terrorist Fighters in the Context of the Implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014). Participating States thereby affirmed their intention to take resolute action to counter foreign terrorist fighters and reiterated relevant OSCE counterterrorism related commitments.
OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation are indeed facing unprecedented numbers of individuals departing to join terrorist groups and/or to perpetrate acts of terrorism, including in connection with armed conflicts. Many more individuals are believed to be vulnerable to violent radicalization and recruitment as foreign terrorist fighters (FTF). This phenomenon is nurtured by violent extremist views, often exploiting religious beliefs and tenets as part of broader narratives built around real or perceived grievances. Some FTFs might be able to return in their countries of nationality or residence, presenting a risk that they will further contribute to spread these views or get involved in attacks and other terrorism-related offences.
The Basel OSCE Ministerial Declaration on FTFs calls upon OSCE executive structures to facilitate thematic discussions in the OSCE, in a manner complementary to the ongoing efforts at the UN, focused on the phenomenon of FTF, in order to improve the understanding of the phenomenon, to exchange experiences and good practices, and to promote a comprehensive and coherent response.
Consistently, this workshop is intended to provide a platform for a first regional exchange of views and experiences with regard to the threat of FTF in Central Asia and implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2178 (2014), in compliance with the rule of law and with all obligations under international law, including international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law. The workshop will consider the requirements of resolution 1278 (2014) as well as the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF)’s The Hague-Marrakech Memorandum on Good Practices for a More Effective Response to the Foreign Terrorist Fighter Phenomenon, which is acknowledged in the resolution and the OSCE Basel Declaration.
Participants will be encouraged to identify specific areas for follow-up activities, at the regional and/or national levels, possibly through the support of the OSCE and the United Nations.