Recent attacks underline need for a unified response to continued terrorist threat, OSCE parliamentarians say in counter-terrorism meeting

CCT meeting LopatkaReinhold LopatkaCOPENHAGEN, 25 November 2020 – Recent terrorist attacks in the OSCE area were in focus at the ninth meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism (CCT) today, chaired by Austrian parliamentarian Reinhold Lopatka.

In his opening remarks, Lopatka cited not only the horrific attack on 2 November in Vienna, in which a lone gunman killed four and wounded 23 in the city center, but also recent attacks in France, Turkey, Afghanistan, Germany, and Croatia as examples of why countering terrorism and violent extremism must remain a top priority in the OSCE area.

“While shocking, the latest tragic events should only reinforce our determination to actively defend our shared values and open democracies, building on what unites us while bridging what might still divide our societies. We owe this to our citizens as elected parliamentarians,” Lopatka said. He noted that the CCT, through its official activities and informal efforts, is working to make sure this is the case.

Seven CCT members were joined in today’s online meeting by OSCE PA President George Tsereteli and representatives of the OSCE’s governmental side, including Amb. Igli Hasani, Permanent Representative of Albania to the OSCE and Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council 2020. Other participants included Wilhelm Sandrisser, Deputy Director General at the Austrian Ministry of the Interior; Nicolas Stockhammer, Political Scientist and Security Policy Analyst at the University of Vienna and Austrian National Defense Academy; Olga Lanchenko, Programme Management Officer at the Special Projects and Innovation Division of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism; and Moussa Al-Hassan Diaw, Co-founder of DERAD Austria.

The keynote speakers highlighted new terrorism trends in Europe, the radicalization and deradicalization processes, and the impact of the pandemic on violent extremism. CCT members raised points about identifying best practices in deradicalization programmes. CCT Vice-Chair and member of the French Delegation to the OSCE PA Aude Bono-Vandorme stressed that France is determined to do whatever it takes to fight terrorism, noting the importance of improving practices in a number of areas, for example dealing more effectively with hate speech on social media. US Congressman Richard Hudson, also a Vice-Chair of the CCT, highlighted the importance of striking the right balance between civil liberties and the need for ensuring robust surveillance of dangerous individuals.

President Tsereteli stressed the continued danger that radicalization and intolerance pose to democratic societies, noting that this compels the international community to redouble efforts to promote greater co-operation to fight all forms and manifestations of terrorism. In this regard, the CCT is making a valuable contribution to OSCE-wide efforts to combat terrorism, the President said.

The meeting closed with a presentation by Georgia Holmer, the Head of the Action Against Terrorism Unit (ATU) at the OSCE Transnational Threats Department (TNTD), who briefed CCT members on the OSCE’s governmental efforts in the field of countering terrorism with a view towards informing the PA’s own work plan for 2021. CCT members considered possible joint initiatives and ways to strengthen co-operation with the OSCE Executive Structures.

CCT members also discussed the committee’s areas of focus for 2021, including victims of terrorism, countering online propaganda and radicalization, and challenges related to returning foreign terrorist fighters, including deradicalization programmes.

For background on the Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism, please click here.



Нэт Пэрри

Начальник отдела коммуникаций и прессы

Офис: +45 33 37 80 55
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