Ambassador Madeira Addressed the United Nations International Conference on National and Regional Counter-Terrorism Strategies


The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) held a high-level International Conference on National and Regional Counter Terrorism Strategies from 31 January – 1 February 2013 in Bogota. The meeting was attended by more than 150 government officials, national counter-terrorism experts, representatives of the United Nations and practitioners from international, regional and civil society organizations. The ACSRT was represented by Ambassador Francisco Jose Madeira, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Counter Terrorism Cooperation, and Director of the ACSRT.
The Conference is one of the first initiatives of the newly established Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) Working Group on National and Regional Counter-Terrorism Strategies, which is co-led by the CTITF Office and CTED. The Conference was intended to provide a forum to compile and exchange good national and regional practices on countering terrorism that are consistent with and contributory to the implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, as well as share experiences relating to the development of comprehensive and integrated national and regional counter-terrorism strategies. It involved relevant stakeholders from different government agencies and segments of society. During the two-day meeting, participants elaborated on the role of the United Nations in facilitating exchanges of information on cooperation and technical assistance.
Participants in the breakout sessions focusing on national strategies, considered four thematic topics pertaining to national strategies. These include the relevance of developing comprehensive national strategies, the principles on which they are built, the processes through which they are operationalized and the mechanisms with which they are sustained and made better.
Distinguished panelists who led the breakout sessions, together with participants who made subsequent interventions during the discussions, shared their national experiences and lesson learned, described how inter-departmental cooperation have worked and where States have encountered challenges.
In his intervention, H.E Ambassador Francisco Madeira gave a brief summary on the African Union effective regional mechanism to implement Regional strategies. He said that at the African Union, Peace and security are viewed as a precondition for any meaningful and sustainable economic, social and human development. Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms are the pillars of the African Peace and Security Architecture.
In the fight against terrorism, Ambassador Madeira indicated that the African continent already has a comprehensive counter- Terrorism strategy (the 1999 convention on the prevention and combating of terrorism, the protocol thereto) as well as a plan of action and implementation mechanism, In this context a protocol to the strategy was adopted in 2004 to bring on board aspects of terrorism enshrined in the UN Security Council resolutions 1373, 1624 and others.
He added that while countries and regions have created structures, institutions and frameworks that allow them to carry out a relatively effective fight against terrorism, no region and, indeed, very few AU member states, possess a blueprint that one can call a comprehensive national or Regional counter terrorism strategy. He stressed that most African countries are in dire need of technical and financial assistance to produce national and regional strategy.
Ambassador Madeira ended his intervention by pointing to the main priorities to achieve the African Union Counter terrorism strategy, which are:
• Engage member states proactively to come up with national and regional counter terrorism strategies;
• Create structures and institutions that can allow member states to enhance their capacity to make true their commitment to practice good governance in order to properly address the conditions conducive to terrorism in their region;
• Set up national and regional fusion centers to coordinate their counter terrorism plans and actions;
• Timely exchange information with each other on the location, activities and movements of terrorist groups on the continent and subject them to the law;
• Provide mutual legal assistance;
• Ensure the respect of human rights and the rule of law;
• Exchange research, expertise and analysis;
• Mobilize the technical assistance and cooperation within the continent and internationally to strengthen African countries CT capacity scientifically, technically and operationally.