EU and UN deepen cooperation on Counter-Terrorism
The annual Dialogue is an opportunity to take stock of the current terrorism landscape, as well as reassess the effectiveness of EU and UN programming priorities in this area. The EU and UN agreed to take concrete steps to strengthen their existing partnership to fight this persistent but evolving threat to international peace and security.
The strategic partnership was further strengthened through the launch of the new “EU-UN Global Terrorism Threats Facility”, an EU-funded initiative that will provide support to Member States faced with terrorism and violent extremism, including through assistance, training, and mentoring, tailored to the needs of requesting recipient countries. The Facility will be operational in the coming months and will be institutionally anchored in and managed by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT).
During the discussions, the EU and the UN focused on current terrorism trends in West Africa/Sahel, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Participants also addressed other areas of common concern, such as emerging threats related to new technologies, including how they affect youth as a particular target group for radicalization to violence, and terrorism based on xenophobia, racism, and other forms of intolerance, or in the name of religion or belief.
They also considered the enhanced use of the 45-member UN Global Counter-Terrorism Compact framework to support Member States in their counter-terrorism efforts in a more coordinated and effective manner.
UN and EU representatives updated each other on new strategic policy guidance and developments since the previous Leaders’ Dialogue in December 2020, including the UN Secretary-General’s vision in his “Our Common Agenda” report and the adoption of the EU Strategic Compass. Representatives underlined the importance of placing human rights and international law at the center of the global response to terrorism. They also highlighted the critical role of civil society, including women and youth representatives, in these efforts.
The meeting concluded with the agreement by EU and UN representatives to update key joint priorities, and to strengthen policy dialogue, information-sharing and capacity-building cooperation, including through Counter-Terrorism/Security Experts in EU Delegations and UNOCT’s presences away from Headquarters.
The Fourth EU-UN Leaders’ Dialogue was co-convened by UNOCT and the European External Action Service, with the participation of Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General for UNOCT, Mr. Raffi Gregorian, Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General and Director for UNOCT, Ms. Joanneke Balfoort, Director for Security and Defence Policy at the European External Action Service, Mr Olivier Onidi, Deputy Director General in the European Commission, and Mr. Ilkka Salmi, European Union Counter-Terrorism Coordinator. Principals and representatives of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact entities, the largest coordination framework in the UN system, also took part in the Dialogue. Entities represented were CTED, UNICEF, UNODC, UNDP and the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team.
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