RESOLUTION ON

A COMPREHENSIVE LEGISLATIVE REFORM ON FOREIGN TERRORIST FIGHTERS FROM THE OSCE AREA

    1. Considering that:
      1. the current global security scenario, characterized by multidimensional challenges, requires the urgent attention of OSCE lawmakers in order to adapt domestic legislation in response to new dynamic and devious threats,
      2. the complex and interconnected phenomena such as religious radicalization and so-called "home-grown terrorism," in all of their forms, are ominously present in the OSCE region as a whole,
      3. the foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) phenomenon is not new but the recent increase in the flow of these FTFs into Syria and throughout the Middle East has been the largest and most important influx into any region,
    2. Taking into account that collecting information about people who choose to take part in foreign armed conflicts is extremely difficult, although different estimates suggest that:
      1. approximately 15,000 foreigners from around 80 countries have successfully joined terrorist groups in the Middle East, mainly in Syria and Iraq (of these, approximately 3,000 are Europeans),
      2. the proportion of militants, mostly young Chechens, from the Russian Federation is trending upward,
      3. Turkey is the major transit hub for travel routes to Syria,
    3. Noting with concern that tragic international events have shown that kidnappings, beheadings, mass executions (with victims primarily being women and children), gang rapes, torture and acts of genocide against religious minorities are included among the acts that FTFs consider lawful means to achieve their political purpose,

    4. Acknowledging the pressing need to address the root causes in the States of origin of FTFs and between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean, namely socio-economic hardship and discrimination, but also personal dissatisfaction and the impossibility of self-fulfilment, which are fertile grounds for radicalization and terrorist acts,

    5. Stressing that it is necessary to send a clear message strengthening the existing provisions against terrorism and introducing new ones designed to prevent and monitor movements and activities of those who have clearly travelled to or are seriously suspected of travelling to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terrorist training, including in connection with armed conflict,

    6. Recognizing that compliance with internationally recognized human rights standards, especially with regard to persons most at risk, particularly in correctional facilities, is critical for countering terrorism,

    7. Having regard to the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/RES/60/288),

    8. Welcoming UN Security Council resolutions 2170 of 15 August 2014 and 2178 of 24 September 2014 on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts,

    9. Recalling the 5 May 2014 Note of the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator according to which FTFs remain a major threat to the European Union and its Member States, as well as to the Middle East and North Africa region,

    10. Having regard to the Declaration on the OSCE’s role in countering the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters in the context of the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014),

    11. Emphasizing that the OSCE participating States must prepare themselves to face a huge legal challenge, since beyond the military dimension, the threat of FTFs is a multi-faceted issue containing many sub-problems at the legal level,

    12. Remembering that many OSCE participating States do not have effective laws addressing the FTFs issue, which should be distinguished from generic anti-terrorism laws that in many cases have not been updated for five to ten years or even more,

    13. Believing that it is imperative that all OSCE participating States carefully evaluate the need for introducing new laws to strengthen the current anti-terrorism legal framework,

    14. Remaining fully committed to working in close collaboration with its global and regional partners,

    15. Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

    1. Asks the participating States of the OSCE, in full compliance with international human rights law principles and provisions, to move very fast to fully implement all the provisions of the UN Security Council resolution on terrorist foreign fighters (Num. 2178, 24/09/2014);

    2. Encourages the OSCE to increase its co-operation with participating States in Central Asia and the Partner for Co-operation – Afghanistan – in particular in terms of combatting drug trafficking and organized crime, which are contributing to instability in the region and to the financing of terrorism, and also in terms of supporting democratic institutions;

    3. Urges the participating States of the OSCE to promote a wide range of actions at national, regional and international levels, including the study of new comprehensive strategies to tackle the more subtle security threats, such as FTFs and “lone wolves”;

    4. Invites all the OSCE States to start a comprehensive reform process of national anti-terrorism legislation, including the introduction of new and co-ordinated measures directed at FTFs;

    5. Asks the Member States of the European Union to:
      1. tighten controls effectively at external borders, within the existing legal framework;
      2. better co-ordinate counter-terrorism efforts among European Governments and Security Agencies, with full awareness of the multi-layered decision making process in national security and intelligence within the EU members;
    6. Asks participating States of the OSCE which are members of NATO to:
      1. start a long-term process of harmonization and co-ordination of national anti terrorism legislation;
      2. design new and more effective information-sharing mechanisms, including regular update procedures, among all the Members’ Security Agencies;
      3. promote a wide range of initiatives in order to examine new global mechanisms for addressing the issue of Western-born fighters, including effective ways to deal with them if they manage to return home;
    7. Encourages participating States to strengthen their national identification systems by considering the introduction of biometric passports;

    8. Further asks the United States and the Russian Federation to make serious efforts in order to restart actual security and intelligence co-operation against terrorist groups active in the MENA region, co-operation that at the moment is limited due to mistrust and competing motivations;

    9. Calls upon its participating States to increase and improve exchanges of information, primarily between the Central Asian States, the Russian Federation and Turkey, especially in the area of borders, telecommunications, and the prevention and suppression of the financing of terrorism, in order to minimize the flow of foreign fighters;

    10. Calls for innovative and pragmatic co-operation with internet companies against extremist propaganda on the Web in the OSCE area, and calls on participating States to encourage and promote educational and preventive co-operation with the media to counter terrorist propaganda, notably by training journalists specialized in religion;

    11. Encourages the sponsoring of de-radicalization measures tailored to FTFs returning to their OSCE countries of origin;

    12. Calls for more attention to be devoted to possible reintegration programmes for recruits – provided they have clean criminal records and have not participated in any banned and/or illegal terrorist organizations abroad – when they return to their countries of origin, including through closer co-operation between States and international and regional NGOs active in countering violent terrorism and extremism, and, as part of wider reintegration and rehabilitation efforts, the provision of employment, education, healthcare and other services for returning jihadists who have not committed any crimes;

    13. Encourages exploring new channels to prevent youth radicalization, especially in national prison systems;

    14. Invites the OSCE Institutions to report on progress made in meeting the commitments set out in this resolution.