Remarks by H. E. Alena Kupchyna, OSCE – Co-ordinator of activities to address transnational threats, to the Opening Session of the Third United Nations High-Level Conference of Heads of CounterTerrorism Agencies of Member States

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June 20, 2023

Dear Under-Secretary General Voronkov,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for this invitation

On behalf of OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid I would like to start by commending the choice of the theme for the Third UN High-Level Conference on Counter-Terrorism.

As we are all well aware, we live in an increasingly interconnected world, and terrorism, as well as other transnational threats, can only be effectively addressed, and sustainable peace and security ensured, through robust multilateral co-operation.

This year marks the 30th of the Framework for Co-operation and Co-ordination between the UN and the OSCE. This document serves as a pathway to enhance the strategic alignment between our organizations at all levels, from technical co-operation and capacity building to high-level political collaboration, and represents a framework for how multilateral co-operation can be leveraged.

For decades, the OSCE has worked with governments, civil society, the private sector as well as our international partners to foster such co-operation and strengthen the foundations of secure and prosperous societies.

The importance of multilateralism and institutional co-operation cannot be overstated as we seek to improve our resilience to violent extremism and terrorism and to meaningfully implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

By definition, multilateralism is a force multiplier, which ensures a whole of government and whole of society approach to countering terrorism across borders.  We can never be successful without a shared understanding and a common approach, and a multilateral response is what underpins that common understanding.

Over the years, our Organization has intensified its efforts to address transnational threats and global challenges through a comprehensive strategy focused on preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism, ensuring border security, combatting transnational organized crime, promoting professional and democratic policing. And leveraging strong and efficient partnerships within the international community to tackle threats related to terrorism and violent extremism.

A main pillar of the OSCE’s comprehensive approach to security is promoting respect for human rights and the rule of law as the basis for effective responses to terrorism. In all aspects of our work, we strive to include underrepresented groups, such as women, youth and minorities, as only through inclusive approaches can we achieve security for all. In fact, the OSCE mainstreams gender perspective in all our counter-terrorism-related programmes, projects, and activities.

The OSCE is proud to enjoy a solid and long-standing collaboration with our partners within the UN family and beyond. Several highlights:

Last year we joined forces with UNOCT and EU in organizing two high-level conferences on counterterrorism: One in Tashkent, which resulted in the adoption of a renewed UN Joint Action Plan for Central Asia, and one in Dushanbe on border security in countering terrorism and preventing the movement of terrorists.

With UNOCT,  we have instituted a joint programme to assist OSCE participating States utilize technical innovations such as API/PNR, biometrics, artificial intelligence for containing terrorist travel while safeguarding privacy. And, also with UNOCT we have been working to advance the Mobile Training Team Programme, building the skills of national institutions to respond to the challenges posed by travel of suspected Foreign Terrorist Fighters.

We also work closely with UNODC to develop and implement a multi-year Training Programme on Countering the Financing of Terrorism in Central Asia and South-Eastern Europe, which has improved inter-agency co-operation, capabilities, and has set-up information-sharing mechanisms between the public and private sector in beneficiary countries. Jointly with UNODC we developed training materials for requesting electronic evidence across borders, which were successfully piloted in four Central Asian participating States.

The OSCE is synergizing efforts with the UNCTED in contributing to its country assessment visits as an effective way to help identify and co-ordinate programmatic assistance.

Given the central role of law enforcement in protecting vulnerable targets, last year, the OSCE and INTERPOL, together with the UNOCT and UNCTED, jointly implemented a regional expert event in Central Asia on vulnerable targets protection, which followed the joint implementation of a similar regional event in South-Eastern Europe.

All those, dear colleagues, are the examples of multilateralism in action that is crucial in generating co-ordinated approaches to effectively address transnational and global challenges such as violent extremism and terrorism.

In the future, the OSCE will be adding to these efforts through working with our multilateral partners to pioneer efforts to counter terrorism in the digital space. Prioritizing activities on media- and information-literacy, particularly for youth, and addressing the linkages between violent misogyny and violent extremism.

At the OSCE, we strongly support the importance of strengthening the cooperation between the UN Global Counterterrorism Compact and regional organizations. And we remain committed to working together across our region and with our international partners to sustain multilateral counter-terrorism co-operation in order to advance peace and security.

Thank you for your attention.

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