SCN chaired the first session of the Global Counter Terrorism Forum’s 14th Coordination (GCTF) Committee Meeting on 24 September in New York on the margins of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The session, GCTF and Local Impact – the Role of Cities and Communities, focused on three of the GCTF’s areas of research in P/CVE: homegrown terrorism, the nexus between crime and terrorism, and finally the challenge of returned foreign fighters and their families. Comprising the panels were local level PVE practitioners from around the world, including the UK, Pakistan, the U.S., Indonesia, Jordan and Australia. The overall aim of the session was to establish how best to connect the multilateral and local levels in the pursuit of cooperation in CT/CVE.
Rebecca Skellett, SCN Senior Programme Manager, and Jonathan Birdwell, ISD’s Head of Policy and Research, moderated the closed session to an audience of GCTF member country representatives.
This was an opportunity to showcase local level responses and challenges to these key themes, and to facilitate an exchange of views between municipal representatives and the GCTF Coordinating Committee. In this space, local actors were able to measure the relevance of existing GCTF Good Practices and Recommendations while contributing their own expertise.
In an opening address, Mayor Tri Rismaharini from Surabaya, Indonesia, shared her personal experience of responding to the terrorist attacks in May this year, in which three families targeted churches, apartment complexes and police headquarters.
A panel discussion followed on intervention and prevention at the local level, which presented municipal views on the challenges in tackling home-grown extremism and terrorism, showcasing examples of effective local and municipal-led PVE efforts. The session focused on cities that have built local risk profiles, set up civil society partnerships, and delivered effective mitigation efforts at the local level.
A second discussion addressed the challenges of returning foreign fighters and their families, and on ways to create tailored and targeted case management systems to reintegrate them into their local communities, as well as and manage any potential associated risks.
The final panel explored the relationship between organised crime and terrorism, as well as the opportunities and challenges surrounding cooperation between security (police, prisons, military) and grassroots organisations in countering this threat at the local level.