Foreign Terrorist Fighters: A challenging phenomenon for the Euro-Mediterranean and CIS regions

Foreign Terrorist Fighters: A challenging phenomenon for the Euro-Mediterranean and CIS regions
“Combatting International Terrorism” was the theme of the high-level Parliamentary Conference co-organised by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) together with IPA CIS, OSCE PA, PACE, UN and IPU. The joint conference represented an important step in coordinating and streamlining efforts by regional parliaments to support the Global Counter Terrorism strategy led by the United Nations. 
PAM’s delegation was led by Hon. Gennaro Migliore of Italy, Chair of the PAM Special Committee on Terrorism, and included senior delegates from Syria and Monaco, as well as PAM Roving Ambassador Jean Paul Laborde, Senior Advisor on Counter-terrorism, and Ambassador Sergio Piazzi, PAM Secretary General.
PAM was responsible for leading and facilitating the debate on the issue of the return and relocation of Foreign Terrorist Fighters, since they pose a number of challenges for the Euro-Mediterranean and CIS regions. The debate chaired by Hon. Migliore highlighted a number of critical issues, most notably the lack of consensus or clarity on how to address the tens of thousands of people currently in camps in Syria and Iraq, which include thousands of foreign fighters and their families, including thousands of stateless children.

The need to harmonise national legislations in line with UN Security Council resolutions, the Amended Madrid Guiding Principles and the other international instruments on counter-terrorism available to states was again highly emphasised.
Hon. Migliore also addressed the high-level segment of the 49th Plenary Session of IPA CIS on 19 April. In his address he again stressed the benefits of this ongoing cooperation, which was formalised by signing an MoU in 2016, and has allowed to organise joint events such as the preceding counter-terrorism conference. He invited IPA CIS President Matvienko to take part in the PAM meeting in Ankara to present the conclusions of the St. Petersburg Counter-terrorism conference.
On the margins of the conference, the PAM delegation held a bi-lateral meeting with General Alexander Bortnikov, Head of the Russian Security Services (FSB). A number of strategic issues were discussed. General Bortnikov shared the perspective of security services in addressing the terrorist threat, while highlighting the role of parliaments in providing the necessary legal framework for states to effectively combat terrorism, and praised PAM on being active in its regional efforts to harmonise national laws with international instruments. The PAM delegates informed General Bortnikov of the ongoing and upcoming PAM activities on this issue and identified further opportunities where first hand perspectives of the Russian Federation, and its Security Services in particular, on combatting international terrorism would be fruitful for the discussions of PAM parliaments.
Furthermore, PAM Secretary General held a bilateral meeting with his counter-part, the newly appointed Secretary General of IPA CIS, Mr. Kobitsky. The two sides exchanged views on global security issues and the fruitful cooperation between the two regions on the issue of counter-terrorism. Pam and IPA CIS agreed to expand the existing cooperation to other spheres of common interest, and the issue of economic growth was identified as a priority. PAM Secretary General invited IPA CIS to the upcoming PAM meeting on emerging capital markets to be held in Milan on 4-5 July, as a key step in this direction.
In a bilateral meeting with the Secretary General of PABSEC, also the latter expressed to Hon. Migliore and Amb. Piazzi the strong interest in joining efforts with PAM to ensure the success of the Milan event in light of the common interests of the two sister assemblies.// 
issued on 22.04.2019
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