Counter Terrorism - PAM contributes to the UN revision of the Madrid Guiding Principles on Foreign Terrorist Fighters

Counter Terrorism - PAM contributes to the UN revision of the Madrid Guiding Principles on Foreign Terrorist Fighters
The Executive Directorate of the UN Security Council Counter Terrorism Committee convened a high-level meeting at its HQ in New York on 13 December to review the Madrid Guiding Principles, which is a key international guiding instrument for member states to address the issue of foreign terrorist fighters, and prepare the ground for the consideration and possibly the adoption of an Addendum to the Principles by the Security Council itself.
The review process, called for in UN Security Council resolution 2396 (2017), is intended to update the Principles and address effectively the gaps identified in relation to returning foreign terrorist fighters to their countries of origin. 
The meeting built on six sessions dedicated to the Madrid Guiding Principles; Perspectives on trends; Border security and information-sharing; Recruitment and Violent extremism; Judicial measures; international cooperation and prosecution; Rehabilitation and reintegration strategies; Capacity building and guidance for evolving threats posed by FTF returnees, relocators and their families.
The Madrid Guiding Principles on Stemming the Flow of FTFs, set in 2015, provide a set of strategies and techniques to guide UN Member States in their efforts to address the FTF threat. The principles specifically provide guidance on criminalization, prosecution, including prosecution strategies for returnees, international cooperation and the rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees. It is essential for parliaments to translate the Madrid Principles and the forthcoming Addendum, into their national legislations to ensure effective and harmonious count-terrorism efforts, in line with the global strategy. The meeting was particularly relevant to PAM as three principles make specific reference to the role of parliaments and, in parallel, the Euro-Mediterranean region represents the main destination for 80% of the returning foreign terrorists fighters, as reported in the Global Terrorism Index 2018. 
Some 100 CTC members, experts from the UN, INTERPOL, international governmental organisations and PAM, as well as from research centres and academia attended and contributed to the event aimed at analysing the present situation and leave no space in current judicial and operational mechanisms vis-a-vis the evolution threat represented by relocating and returning FTFs. PAM Secretary General addressed the first session and provided detailed suggestions in relation to Principles 21, 22 and 23 where the role of parliaments is spelled out.
In his intervention, Ambassador Piazzi stressed that, as indicated in the Principles, fundamental legislative work is needed at the national and regional level to effectively implement Resolution 2396, particularly to prosecute those FTFs who committed atrocities while abroad, and those who may pose imminent danger by planning and carrying out domestic attacks. Additionally, new legislative measures are urgently required to address deradicalisation, rehabilitation and re-integration of returnees, including the families and children of the FTFs. In particular, he noted that under current legal frameworks, many of detained FTF returnees will be released from national prisons in Western Europe after short detention periods not exceeding 3 to 4 years. Furthermore, in 2019, PAM will organize two conferences respectively in Turkey and Italy on the nexus Security, Terrorism – Migrations and on the return and relocation of foreign terrorist fighters and their families.
The debates focused on the use of technology to fight terrorist groups and their propaganda; improving terrorism prevention, addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, countering the financing of terrorism, and addressing the roles of civil society and the private sector in preventing and countering terrorism.
Amb Piazzi and Amb Fareed, PAM Permanent Observer to the UN in New York, also took this opportunity to hold a number of bilateral meetings on 14 and 15 December with the representatives of UN CTED, OCT, UNODC and OSCE to discuss how to further strengthen cooperation on counter-terrorism activities, as well as for a consultation with the US Mission to the UN in view of a forthcoming PAM official visit to Washington DC. The meeting with ASG Michèle Coninsx, the Executive Director of CTED, proved particularly fruitful in view of a series of joint initiatives to be conducted in 2019 through enhanced cooperation with PAM delegates and joint field visits to the Sahel and MENA regions. In New York, the organization of a PAM joint conference with the OSCE, under the Slovak Chairmanship, to address FTFs, critical and soft infrastructures, was also agreed with Ambassador Avakov, as direct follow up to PAM participation at the 25th Ministerial Council, held in Milan on 6-7 December.//
issued on 19.12.2018
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