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Twenty-Nine countries have launched a new multilateral organisation to fight terrorism

Speaking at the launch in New York on Thursday, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the new group would become “a counter-terrorism network that is as nimble and adaptive as our adversaries. The GCTF (Global Counter Terrorism Forum), which has 30 founding members (29 countries plus the European Union) is planned to provide a platform for senior counterterrorism policymakers and experts from around the world to work together to identify urgent needs, devise solutions and mobilise resources in the fight against terrorism.

The GCTF was created after the failure of earlier initiatives that did not include a broad array of countries. Clinton said, “We understand terrorism is not a new phenomenon, but, unfortunately, given advances in technology and communication and travel and so many other of the ways we live together today, terrorism has become truly global and, unfortunately, an ongoing threat to us all. “From London to Lahore, from Madrid to Mumbai, from Kabul to Kampala, it’s innocent civilians who have been targeted. And no country can afford to sit on the sidelines and no country can afford to go it alone.

“Now, in recent years, together we have made real progress against violent extremism. But I think we all recognise we can do more, which is why we are here. We can build an international counterterrorism network that is as nimble and adaptive as our adversaries, that can mobilise resources and expertise from across the globe, and that can not only meet today’s challenges but prepare for tomorrow’s.” Clinton said that members would work together to deepen their understanding of the process of radicalisation and terrorist recruitment.

She said, “Over the last 10 years, we’ve learned a lot about how terrorist networks find their followers and maintain support and protection in particular communities. But there’s much we still don’t know about how best to disrupt their efforts and deny them support. “This forum can serve as a clearinghouse for research and analysis into these challenges, bringing together experts to design effective strategies for countering violent extremism, and helping ensure that both governments and NGOs are trained to understand the phenomenon of radicalization and how to address it.”

The GCTF will initially have five working groups, one focusing on criminal justice and rule of law; one on countering violent extremism; and three aimed at building counter-terrorism capacity in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and Southeast Asia.

In addition to Nigeria and the US, other founding members of the group are Algeria, Australia, Britain, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

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