Fight against terrorism through international forums
International cooperation is the only way to effectively tackle a threat that cannot be dealt with on an exclusively national basis. In this regard, the main international organisations have taken on the fight against terrorism as one of their main tasks. Spain advocates a comprehensive approach to the international strategies on the fight against terrorism, such that this threat will be tackled in all its dimensions, including the factors that lead to violent radicalisation.

​United Nations 
Spain considers the multilateral framework, and the United Nations in particular, as an effective means, with full legitimacy, to provide a long-term response to the threat of terrorism. Within the framework of the General Assembly, Member States have been backing initiatives, coordinating actions and drawing up rules to fight terrorism as effectively as possible.

Among the progress made, undoubtedly worthy of mention is the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy approved in 2006, a strategy that is based on four main pillars: tackling the conditions that lead to the spread of terrorism; increasing the capabilities of States to prevent and deal with terrorism; and ensuring respect for human rights for everyone and guaranteeing the rule of law in the fight against terrorism.

Aware of the importance of fostering the application of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Spain actively contributes to the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), particularly to the Working Group on Supporting Victims of Terrorism. The mandate of the CTITF is to step up the coordination and coherence of United Nations activities in the field of the global fight against terrorism.

In addition to the Global Strategy, the United Nations has established an institutional counter-terrorism architecture within the framework of the Security Council (SC), particularly through the Counter-Terrorism Committee. This is commissioned with fostering the application of Resolution 1373, approved by the Security Council shortly after the attacks on 11 September 2001, and which contains a raft of response measures. The SC also fosters the effective application of Resolution 1624, which establishes measures to prevent the incitement to undertake acts of terrorism and to promote tolerance and dialogue. Also noteworthy is the Resolution 1267 Committee, which establishes the lists of sanctions on individuals and groups associated with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Lastly, Spain is highly committed to the conclusion of the Global Counter-Terrorism Convention, which led to its participation in debates both within and outside the framework of the United Nations to back its adoption. Despite an agreement still not having been reached in regard to the Convention, 18 international instruments to counter international terrorism and specific acts of terrorism have been drawn up within the framework of the United Nations system.
Global Counter-Terrorism Forum
In September 2011, a group of 29 States (including Spain) and the European Union, with the participation of the United Nations, decided to set up the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) as an informal body with practical aims of debate, analysis, exchange of recommendations and good practices, the identification of priorities and the mobilisation of resources to provide technical assistance in countering terrorism. Working groups have been set up under the GCTF in which Spain actively participates: the Sahel; criminal justice and the rule of law; the fight against violent extremism; detention and rehabilitation; and the Horn of Africa region.

Spain is one of the members that, since the working groups were set up, have more actively participated in the GCTF. Spain has played a particularly noteworthy role in the defence of victims of terrorism at this forum, as evidenced by the organisation of the High-Level Conference on Victims of Terrorism (VT), held in Madrid in July 2012. This conference led to the adoption of the Madrid Declaration, which represented a major step forward in consolidating global awareness with a specific focus on the issue of victims. This conference also laid the foundations for an Action Plan on Victims of Terrorism, which was endorsed by Member States at the Ministerial Meeting that took place in Abu Dhabi in December 2012.

In September 2013, and also upon an initiative from Spain, all of the Member States of the GCTF adopted the Memorandum on Good Practices for Assistance to Victims of Terrorism Immediately after the Attack and in Criminal Proceedings, known as the Madrid Memorandum. This is a document that contains good practices which seek to guarantee immediate and effective assistance to victims of terrorism from the time of the attack and throughout criminal proceedings, in order for them to cope with the damage suffered in the best possible manner.

Subsequently, in October 2013, Madrid hosted a workshop on The Role of Religious Scholars and Other Experts on De-radicalisation in Prisons, which was also organised within the framework of the GCTF, at which Spain had the opportunity to highlight its model of religious assistance in prisons. This workshop served to homogenise practices and models in different countries in this area, as well as to draw conclusions on their improvement. The conclusions from the workshop were incorporated in a working document to be used by Member States of the forum and other participating countries and experts.
European Union
Since terrorism represents a threat to security, liberty and the values of the European Union and to its citizens, the actions of the EU, and hence of Spain, seek to establish a suitable response adapted to countering this phenomenon. Faced with this threat, in 2005 the EU approved its Counter-Terrorism Strategy, based on four main pillars: prevent, protect, pursue and respond. The EU also has a strategy to combat both radicalisation and the recruitment of terrorists, which focuses on the pillar of prevention.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (Spanish acronym: MAEC) takes part in the three existing European Union working groups entrusted with monitoring the fight against terrorism:

• The Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER), which analyses, discusses and exchanges information on current affairs in relation to international terrorism and prepares counter-terrorist dialogues that the EU holds with third countries.

• The Terrorism Working Group (TWG), focuses on operational aspects of counter-terrorism policy.

• The Common Position 931 Working Party on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism (CP931 WP), responsible for monitoring the EU’s counter-terrorism list.
Other international organisations
In addition to the United Nations and the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum,
The MAEC actively takes part in the work of other organisations and bodies with a major role in international counter terrorism.
The MAEC participates in the Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) of the Council of Europe. This is an inter-governmental committee that is commissioned, among other issues, with questions related to drawing up State profiles in relation to their counter-terrorism capabilities, the exchange of information and best practices, the identification of deficiencies in international law and counter-terrorism actions, as well as the proposal of measures to combat this threat. The MAEC also coordinates Spain’s participation in the Group of Parties to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (signed on 16 May 2005).

The Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) has been set up within the framework of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which focuses on the promotion of ratifications by Member States of international instruments on the matter, the training of judges and prosecutors, and boosting legal and judicial cooperation between States (among other initiatives). In April 2013, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), together with the Minister for Health, Social Services and Equality, Ana Mato, and the Executive Director of UNODC, Yury Fedotov, with the aim of establishing a framework that facilitates coordination and cooperation between Spain and this office. By means of this MOU, Spain is prepared to offer technical assistance to those projects implemented by the UNODC on the matter of the prevention of international terrorism, the prevention of social and healthcare problems caused by drugs, combating corruption and illegal drug trafficking and various manifestations of cross-border organised crime.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) agreed, in addition to the initial 40 recommendations to combat money laundering, on nine special recommendations to prevent the financing of terrorism. The FATF draws up reports and makes evaluations on compliance with the recommendations in force and establishes a system of sanctions. It also provides technical assistance for the creation of Financial Intelligence Units to enable these recommendations to be applied in each jurisdiction.

Spain also cooperates with the Inter-American Counter-Terrorism Committee (ICTC), set up within the framework of the Organization of American States (OAS). The main aim of the ICTC is to promote and develop cooperation among Member States to prevent, combat and eradicate terrorism, pursuant to the principles of the OAS Charter and of the Inter-American Counter-Terrorism Convention.

The OSCE, which has had a counter-terrorism unit since 2003, contributes to countering this threat through a broad range of activities in such areas as border control, the fight against extremism on the Internet, the protection of critical infrastructures against terrorist attacks and the fight against the financing of terrorism.
Meeting of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs Ministers held in Madrid on the occasion of the special meeting of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee.
Madrid, 27 and 28 July 2015.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), a Security Council body made up of its 15 Member States, held a Special Meeting of the Member States of the United Nations and international organisations in Madrid to debate measures to prevent and tackle the flows of foreign terrorist fighters. This was the first time that the CTC had organised a special meeting in the capital of one of its Member States. It should be recalled that the Executive Directorate of the CTC was set up in 2004 upon an initiative which was promoted by Spain in its previous period as a member of the Security Council.

The President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, inaugurated the Meeting of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs Ministers that took place following the Special Meeting of the CTC. Prior to this meeting, preparatory meetings had been held with international experts in terrorism in three areas: (i) the detection, intervention and prevention of induction, recruitment and advice of foreign terrorist fighters; (ii) the prevention of travel by foreign terrorist fighters, and (iii) the criminalisation, trial, international cooperation and rehabilitation and reintegration of returning foreign fighters.


















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