Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE)

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
February 21, 2014

Following the recommendations of the Second Inter-American Specialized Conference on Terrorism (November 1998), the OAS General Assembly created the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) with the objective of fostering cooperation among OAS member states to prevent, combat, and eliminate terrorism in the Hemisphere. CICTE fosters increased cooperation and coordination among member states through training and the exchange of information among specialists and political leaders/decision-makers working together to strengthen hemispheric solidarity and security.

The first regular session of CICTE was held in Miami, Florida in October 1999, which developed a plan of work. While no sessions took place in 2000 or 2001, the events of September 11, 2001 brought renewed focus to the Inter-American efforts to confront terrorism. In 2002, the OAS Secretary General established a secretariat within the General Secretariat to support CICTE and appointed an Executive Secretary in October 2002 to direct the operations of the CICTE secretariat. The CICTE Secretariat implements the member-state approved Work Plan of the Committee.

Another key milestone in 2002 was the adoption of the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, signed on June 3rd by 30 Member States at the OAS General Assembly in Bridgetown, Barbados, and which entered into force in July 2003. This Convention has now been ratified by 24 member states and signed by 33, and is regarded as providing the legal structure for cooperation among OAS member states in the fight against terrorism, with CICTE as the main multilateral vehicle for promoting that cooperation and facilitating implementation of the Convention.

In light of these and subsequent resolutions of the organs of the Inter-American system, CICTE began holding regular annual sessions as a forum for discussion and decision-making on counter terrorism issues, measures, and cooperation. Member States designate a competent national authority, a principal representative, alternate representatives, and advisors. Member States also appoint one or more National Points of Contact with competence in the field of prevention and elimination of terrorism to serve as the principal liaison among governments of the Member States and with the CICTE Secretariat for developing cooperation programs. Member States often issue a “declaration” at each CICTE Regular Session laying out their priorities on a specific counterterrorism topic. At these meetings, the Member States also approve by consensus the CICTE Secretariat’s Annual Work Plan, which seeks to address Member State security vulnerabilities that can be exploited not only by terrorists, but also for transnational criminal purposes.

CICTE has emerged as a key player in the Inter-American system supporting the “Multidimensional Security” pillar of the OAS, one of four pillars guiding the work of the OAS. CICTE works in the areas of maritime security, document security, tourism security, security for major events, legislative assistance for the financing of terrorism, aviation security, immigration and customs controls, cyber security, supply chain security, critical infrastructure protection and emerging threats preparation.

In 2013, the CICTE Secretariat conducted 113 activities, training courses, and technical assistance missions which benefited more than 4,181 participants in five thematic areas: border control; critical infrastructure protection; counterterrorism legislative assistance and terrorist financing; strengthening strategies on emerging terrorist threats (crisis management); and international cooperation and partnerships. The United States has been a major contributor to CICTE’s training programs and has directly provided funding and expert trainers for capacity building programs focused on maritime security, aviation security, travel document security and fraud prevention, cybersecurity, counterterrorism legislation, and efforts to counter terrorist financing.