Ministerial on Information Sharing to Counter Foreign Terrorist Fighters

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 18, 2015

Earlier today, on the margins of the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), a group of concerned governments and multilateral organizations convened in Washington at the Ministerial level to discuss the Foreign Terrorist Fighter (FTF) threat confronting all of us around the world. The session focused on how to intensify efforts to share and use information about FTFs to disrupt and prevent potential terrorist activity regionally and internationally. While the Summit seeks to enhance efforts to counter violent extremism broadly, participants recognized that measures must also be taken to address the exigent threats posed by those who are already radicalized and traveling to and from conflict zones.

At this session, participants reviewed progress toward implementing UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2178 of September 2014, which urges Member States to “intensify and accelerate the exchange of operational information regarding actions or movements of terrorist or terrorist networks, including foreign terrorist fighters.” The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) in the Hague-Marrakech Memorandum on Good Practices for a More Effective Response to the FTF Phenomenon, were also discussed.

Participants highlighted existing efforts, outlined lessons learned, and raised ongoing challenges that need to be addressed. Participants also agreed on the importance of improving information sharing and collaboration on a bilateral and multilateral basis. In particular, participants discussed the critical role of traveler screening in identifying terrorist travel and how Interpol can be used more effectively as an international information sharing platform. Participants also agreed to strengthen information sharing on FTFs and discussed the need to reconvene in September 2015 in New York, one year after the adoption of UNSCR 2178, to take stock of our progress in meeting the resolution’s obligations. Participants took note of the upcoming GCTF Workshop on “Raising Community Awareness in Response to the FTF Phenomenon,” scheduled for February 23-24 in Washington, which participants agreed would advance our collective efforts in addressing FTF-related issues.