Workshop on Implementing the Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists – Openning Ceremony

Amb Madeira

Today, 4 February 2014, a three day workshop on Implementing the Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists kicked off at the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism in Algiers. This workshop will leverage training modules developed with the participation of members of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and other partners. The workshop is aimed at enhancing the capacity of the AU Sahelo-Saharan Member States to counter hostage taking and deny terrorists the benefits of kidnapping for ransom.

The workshop brought together delegates from 11 Sahelo-Saharan countries and experts from Europe, North and South America and Australia to discuss cases to share experience and to identify the most practical ways officials can implement good practices.

H.E. Ambassador Francisco Madeira, AU Commission Chairperson’s Special Representative for Counter‐Terrorism Cooperation/ Director of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) made a welcome statement followed by the Statement of the US Ambassador to Algeria, Ambassador Henry Ensher and the Canadian Chargé d’affairs, Mr. Tim Gorham, made a statement in his capacity as  a member of the GCTF Sahel Working Group.

The opening ceremony was concluded by a feature address delivered by the Algerian Government Representative Ambassador Mohamed Kamel Rezag-Bara, special advisor to H.E. the president of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.

The primary goals of this workshop are to:

¨ Introduce relevant officials to existing, widely-accepted authorities, standards, tools, and processes for preventing and denying terrorists the benefits of KFR.

¨ Increase the capabilities of states of the Sahelo-Saharian Region to implement the good practices outlined in the Algiers Memorandum.

¨ Foster collaboration and cooperation within and among interested states to combat KFR.

By the end of the workshop, participants should be better placed to:

¨ Compare and contrast approaches to kidnapping response and crisis management, including methodologies for conducting investigations and prosecutions.

¨ Outline the steps necessary to implement or improve coordination and communication mechanisms (inter- and intra-agency, state, region, and internationally) for KFR crisis response.

¨ Adapt and implement good practices for denying benefits of KFR within their individual national/regional legal and regulatory contexts.

formulate strategies and standard operating procedures for implementing the Algiers Memorandum.

This event will incorporate existing expertise into an interactive workshop format. Participants will include countries from the Sahel and Maghreb regions, interested GCTF members from outside these regions, as well as experts from the African Union (AU), UN, and other international partners.

The workshop will encourage the use of case examples to share experience and to identify the most practical ways officials can implement good practices. To maximize dialogue and exchange of information, participants should be prepared to provide informal contributions to the workshop discussions and presentations.

The Regional Consultative Workshop on the Institutional Design Study – Phase II has kicked off today in Entebbe, Uganda.  The two-day meeting is attended by various participants, including Permanent Secretaries in charge of Water Affairs from some Nile Basin Member States; representatives of the Development Partners, Nile Basin Discourse, Senegal River Basin Organization (OMVS), and Global Water Partnership – Eastern Africa; Members of the Nile Technical Advisory Committee as well as the Nile Basin Initiative Staff.

In his opening remarks, Mr. David Jakaiti, Director of Administration at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation in Kenya, who spoke on behalf his Permanent Secretary, pointed out: “Time has come when we need to put in place a robust institutional arrangement that can meet the needs of the Nile basin countries in managing and developing shared water resources.”  He concluded by voicing his concern over the lack of inclusiveness among the NBI member states in the regional programs.
Representing the Development Partners, Mr. Maarten van der Ploeg, Head of Transboundary Water Cooperation Project in the Nile Basin at GIZ-Uganda, said “The Development Partners are committed to supporting the Nile cooperation in the future.”  He called upon Member States to continue demonstrating ownership of the Institution by increasing and paying country contributions.
Dr. Wael Khairy, Executive Director of the Nile Basin Initiative, highlighted the importance of the Consultative Workshop which is a hallmark and critical event in the NBI history as it invigorates future institutional aspirations of the Nile Cooperation through a consultative process with key stakeholders of the Nile Basin Initiative.
The  objectives of the workshop are: to facilitate the review of priority recommendations on strengthening the current Nile Basin Initiative related to governance and institutional issues; to facilitate discussion of a preferred institutional arrangement for the Nile River Basin Commission (NRBC) drawing on proposed options under Phase I, and to also agree on actions aiming at strengthening the current NBI transitional status.
The workshop is facilitated by Mr. Malcolm Wallace, Institutional Design Consultant United Kingdom; Daniel Malzbender, Director and Environmental Lawyer at the African Centre for Water Research (ACWR); and Dirk Overweg, Financial Management Consultant Laos.