Co-Chairs’ Fact Sheet: About the Global Counterterrorism Forum

02 April 2014

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 2, 2014

Below is the text of the fact sheet issued by the Co-Chairs (Turkey and the United States) of the Global Counterterrorism Forum on April 2, 2014.

Begin text:

The GCTF is an informal, multilateral counterterrorism (CT) platform that focuses on identifying critical civilian CT needs, mobilizing the necessary expertise and resources to address such needs and enhance global cooperation.   Launched at a ministerial meeting in New York on 22 September 2011, the Forum, with its 30 founding members (29 countries and the EU), regularly convenes key CT policymakers and practitioners from nations around the world, as well as experts from the United Nations and other multilateral bodies. It has strengthened the international architecture for addressing 21st century terrorism and is promoting a strategic, long-term approach to dealing with the threat. The Forum identifies urgent needs, devises solutions, and mobilizes resources for addressing key CT challenges facing civilian institutions. With its primary focus on countering violent extremism and strengthening criminal justice and other rule of law institutions that deal with terrorism, the GCTF aims to diminish terrorist recruitment and increase countries’ capabilities for dealing with terrorist threats within their borders and regions.

MEMBERS AND PARTNERS:   The 30 founding members of the GCTF are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Additionally, some 40 non-member states have participated in one or more GCTF activities.

The United Nations is a close partner of the GCTF and a regular participant in its activities. The GCTF takes as a central part of its mission the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. More broadly, the GCTF’s work complements and reinforces existing multilateral CT efforts, including those of the UN and relevant regional organizations. Experts from more than a dozen regional and sub-regional organizations, as well as from dozens of civil society organizations have participated in GCTF activities.

STRUCTURE:   The GCTF consists of a strategic-level Coordinating Committee, co-chaired initially by the United States and Turkey; five thematic and regional expert-driven working groups; and a small administrative unit. The working groups focus on: 1) the criminal justice sector and rule of law, co-chaired by Egypt and the United States; 2) countering violent extremism, co-chaired by the UAE and the UK; 3) capacity building in the Sahel region, co-chaired by Algeria and Canada; 4) capacity building in the Horn of Africa region, co-chaired by the EU and Turkey; and 5) detention and reintegration, co-chaired by Australia and Indonesia.


    • The mobilization of more than $230 million to support CT-related strengthening of criminal justice systems, with a particular focus on countries in transition.
    • The December 2012 launch in Abu Dhabi of Hedayah, the first-ever international center for training, dialogue, research, and collaboration on countering violent extremism.
    • The adoption of six sets of good practices designed to serve as practical guides for implementing CT-related capacity-building activities:
        • The Rabat Memorandum on Good Practices for Effective Counterterrorism Practice in the Criminal Justice Sector is designed to help police, prosecutors, judges, and other criminal justice officials implement and promote a rule of law-based criminal justice sector response to terrorism. These good practices form the basis for many of the criminal justice-related CT capacity-building efforts of GCTF members and partners.
        • The Rome Memorandum on Good Practices for Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders emphasizes the importance of a rule of law-based approach to the management of prisons, which are among the most notorious incubators of violent extremism. This document is being used as the basis for technical assistance programs being implemented by the UN and other partners.
        • The Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists is a set of practical tools elaborated by experts from the GCTF membership and the United Nations in Algiers in April 2012 that will contribute to the international effort to crack down on the use of this pernicious tactic.
        • The Madrid Memorandum on Good Practices for Assistance to Victims of Terrorism Immediately after the Attack and in Criminal Proceedings sets forth a non-binding recognized set of measures states can take to assist victims of terrorist attacks.
      • Two good practice documents focus on local communities, civil society, and countering violent extremism:
          • The Good Practices on Community Engagement and Community-Oriented Policing as Tools to Counter Violent Extremism; and
        • The Ankara Memorandum on Good Practices for a Multi-Sectoral Approach to Countering Violent Extremism.
    • The adoption of the July 2012 GCTF Madrid Declaration on Victims of Terrorism and the December 2012 GCTF Plan of Action on Victims of Terrorism to advance the cause of victims of terrorism, their families, and victims’ groups.
    • The International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law, which is planned to open in 2014 in Malta. The Institute will be dedicated to providing criminal justice officials from across North, West, and East Africa with human rights-compliant training to address terrorism and related security challenges within a rule of law framework.
  • The Global Fund on Community Engagement and Resilience (GCERF), the first-ever public-private global fund to support local, grass-roots efforts to counter violent extremism, which will be established in Geneva later in 2014.

2014 – NEW INITIATIVES:   The Forum is launching a number of new initiatives in 2014, including:

    • The development of training modules aimed at promoting the implementation of the Algiers Memorandum;
    • A “Foreign Terrorist Fighter” initiative, aimed at comprehensively addressing this critical issue;
    • An intelligence-evidence initiative, which will deal with the complexities that the criminal justice sector addresses when considering the role of intelligence information in criminal justice investigations and prosecutions;
    • Developing good practices on the role of judges in handling CT cases within a rule of law framework; and
  • Supporting the Forum’s project with Hedayah that looks at the role of education in both fomenting and countering violent extremism.

ANNEX 1 – GCTF ACTIVITIES IN 2013 and 2014[1]

Coordinating Committee
Fourth Coordinating Committee Meeting, New York, United States, 26-27 September 2013
Fifth Coordinating Committee Meeting, Rabat, Morocco, 2-3 April 2014


Sahel Capacity-Building Working Group
Regional Conference on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters related to Terrorism in the Maghreb and Sahel Countries (with Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Working Group), Casablanca, Morocco, 16-18 April 2013 (in cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime)
Workshop on CVE in West Africa and the Sahel, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 17-19 April 2013
Second Plenary Working Group Meeting, Oran, Algeria, 24-25 June 2013
First Sahel Cross-Border Workshop, Niamey, Niger, 2-3 October 2013
Local Capacity-Building Coordination Meeting, Dakar, Senegal, 24 October 2013
Local Capacity-Building Coordination Meeting, Nouakchott, Mauritania, 3 November 2013
Second Sahel Cross-Border Workshop, Dakar, Senegal, 26-27 March 2014


Horn of Africa Region Capacity-Building Working Group
Second Plenary Working Group Meeting, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 5-6 March 2013
Launch of Capacity-Building Assistance Coordination Platform, Nairobi, Kenya, 20 May 2013
Workshop on Countering Violent Extremism in the Horn of Africa, Ankara, Turkey, 11 February 2014
Third Plenary Working Group Meeting, Nairobi, Kenya, 11-13 March 2014


Southeast Asia Capacity-Building Working Group
Practitioners’ Conference on Terror Finance (with Criminal Justice Sector and Rule of Law Working Group), North Medan, Indonesia, 28 January-1 February 2013
Workshop for the Southeast Asia Region on First Response Support to Victims in the Immediate Aftermath of an Attack, Bali, Indonesia, 16-18 September 2013
Third Working Group Plenary Meeting, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 18-19 November 2013


Criminal Justice Sector and the Rule of Law Working Group
Introduction for Prosecutors and Investigating Judges to the Rabat Memorandum, Frankfurt, Germany, 16-17 January 2013
Training Activity for CT Prosecutors and Investigating Judges on Rabat Memorandum (with Horn of Africa Working Group), Entebbe, Uganda, 27-28 March 2013 (in cooperation with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s Security Sector Programme)
Training Activity on Proactive Investigative CT Good Practices in the Criminal Justice Sector (with the Sahel Capacity-Building Working Group), Abuja, Nigeria, 5-6 June 2013
Second Plenary Meeting, Rabat, Morocco, 10-11 September 2013
Meeting on Combatting Terrorism through Adoption of Proactive and Rule of Law-Based CT Good Practices (with Horn of Africa Region Capacity-Building Working Group), Nairobi, Kenya, 8-10 October 2013
Effective Counterterrorism Investigation and Prosecutions while Respecting Human Rights and the Rule of Law (sponsored by UNODC), Bangkok, Thailand, 12-13 November 2013
Seminar on the Role of the Judiciary in Handling Counterterrorism Cases within a Rule of Law Framework, Washington, DC, United States, 14-15 November 2013
Experts Meeting on Protecting and Using Intelligence Information in Rule of Law-Based and Criminal Justice Sector-Led Investigations and Prosecutions, Frankfurt Germany, 8-9 January 2014
Workshop on Proactive CT Good Practices in the Criminal Justice Sector, Abuja, Nigeria, 22-23 January 2014


Countering Violent Extremism Working Group
Practical Seminar on Measuring the Impact of Communications Techniques on Violent Extremist Organizations, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 10-11 February 2013 (in collaboration with Hedayah)
Workshop on Multi-Sectoral Approach to CVE (follow-on to December 2012 meeting in Antalya), Ankara, Turkey, 11 March 2013
Community Engagement Practitioners’ Workshop, Washington, 19-21 March 2013 (in collaboration with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP))
Community-Oriented Policing Workshop, Washington, 22 March 2013 (in collaboration with USIP)
Symposium on Measuring Effectiveness of CVE Programming, Ottawa, Canada, 27-28 March 2013
Prison De-radicalization Plenary Meeting, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 3-5 June 2013 (in collaboration with Hedayah, the UN Interregional Crime Research Institute, and the International Centre on Counter-Terrorism – The Hague)
Workshop on Counter Radicalization Communications Best Practice, London, 27 June 2013
Second Plenary Working Group Meeting, London, 28 June 2013
Workshop on the Role of Religious/Ideological Experts in De-Radicalization in Prisons, Madrid, Spain, 29-30 October 2013
Workshop to Develop an Action Plan for Community-Oriented Policing as a Tool for Countering Violent Extremism, Doha, Qatar, 3-4 March 2014


Other GCTF Activities
International Workshop against Kidnapping, Bogota, Colombia, 24-26 April 2013
Opening Meeting of the GCTF “Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF)” Initiative, The Hague, The Netherlands, 19-20 February 2014

[1] This represents those activities implemented and planned in CY 2013 and 2014. Please visit for additional information about all GCTF activities since the official launch in September 2011.