U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced the launch of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. In the decade since the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States, it has become clear that a crucial piece of the puzzle in the fight against terrorism is missing. The world, said Secretary Clinton, needs a dedicated global venue to regularly convene counterterrorism policy makers from around the world, where essential priorities can be identified and solutions can be devised and implemented. The Global Counterterrorism Forum will address this need. The United States' co-chair in this effort is Turkey. There are thirty founding members of the forum – twenty-nine countries plus the European Union – from around the world.
A primary goal of the forum is to support frontline states in transition as they develop justice systems that are rooted in the rule of law, respectful of human rights, but effective against violent extremism.
A second goal of the forum is to work together to understand the process of radicalization and terrorism recruitment and undermine the appeal of extremism. There is still much to learn about how to best disrupt terrorist networks and deny them support. The Global Counterterrorism Forum can serve as a clearinghouse for research into these challenges and help design strategies for countering violent extremism. To support these efforts, the United Arab Emirates will host the international center of excellence on countering violent extremism, which will serve as the premier institution for training, dialogue, collaboration and research to counter violent extremism in all of its form.
A third area that the Global Counterterrorism Forum will focus on is border security and other transnational weaknesses that are exploited by terrorist networks. The forum can help improve coordination and build working-level partnerships between law enforcement, intelligence, customs, and judiciary officials.
"This forum can help us," said Secretary Clinton, "if we take seriously the need to develop a work plan together. . . .We want to catalyze ourselves to action. I can pledge the United States will be an active partner."