Afghanistan concerns raised at OSCE PA counter-terrorism meeting

170222 CCT meeting photoCCT Chair Reinhold Lopatka and new CCT member Marc Veasey, 17 February 2022COPENHAGEN, 17 February 2022 – Members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism (CCT) met today and discussed terrorism-related threats stemming from the situation in Afghanistan. Marcin Czapliński, representing the Polish Chairmanship of the OSCE, addressed the CCT members, along with Thomas Ruttig, Senior Analyst at the Afghanistan Analysts Network; Horia Mosadiq, Executive Director of the Conflict Analysis Network, and an international journalist based in Afghanistan.

Chaired by OSCE PA Vice-President Reinhold Lopatka (Austria), the meeting included the participation of several CCT members who were joined by ambassadors and deputy ambassadors from Central Asian OSCE participating States, as well as colleagues from the OSCE Secretariat, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism. OSCE PA President Margareta Cederfelt (Sweden) also joined the meeting and offered brief remarks.

In his opening statement, CCT Chair Lopatka spoke about the twin effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan as potential exacerbators of the terrorist threat. Terrorist groups, Lopatka said, have continued to search for ways to exploit social and economic distress stemming from the pandemic. Meanwhile, he noted, 2021 also saw dramatic changes in the security landscape in Afghanistan. “A key challenge for states and international actors is to ensure the humanitarian and economic situation in Afghanistan does not completely collapse – with the country becoming a potential breeding ground for terrorism,” Lopatka said.

During the discussion, participants considered the latest terrorism dynamics on the ground, including possible spillover effects in the region. Several participants highlighted the interconnectedness of security, economic, humanitarian, political, and environmental concerns related to Afghanistan. There is a need to enhance co-operation to prevent the destabilization of the OSCE region, it was stressed, including by building capacity in the field of critical infrastructure, enhancing national counter-terrorism strategies, and curbing the financing of terrorist organizations.

Among the main threats faced by Afghanistan is the Taliban’s suppression of human rights and political dissent, participants said, along with drug trafficking and people smuggling, which are both related to the country’s economic crisis. If the economy further deteriorates, it could benefit terrorist groups through new waves of radicalization, including among women.

Today’s meeting was the 11th of the CCT since it was established in 2017. In addition to serving as a platform for discussions on the situation in Afghanistan, the meeting was also an opportunity to review implemented activities and discuss upcoming events, including the 2022 OSCE PA Annual Session in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

For more on the work of the CCT, please click here.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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