State Dept. Fact Sheet on Global Counterterrorism Forum

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C.
December 16, 2014

Ten Things You Should Know About the Global Counterterrorism Forum

The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) was created in 2011 to strengthen the international civilian architecture for addressing 21st century terrorism. Its primary objectives are to counter violent extremism and strengthen criminal justice and other rule of law institutions that deal with terrorism and related security challenges. By sharing expertise, identifying urgent needs, devising innovative solutions, and mobilizing resources, the GCTF is diminishing terrorist recruitment and increasing countries’ capabilities for dealing with terrorist threats within their borders and regions.

1. GCTF has 30 founding members (29 countries and the European Union). More than 75 non-member countries and organizations have participated in Forum activities.

2. GCTF activities have generated contributions of more than $300 million to support efforts to build civilian institutions, including the training of border officials, prosecutors, police, judges, and corrections officials, with a focus on countries in transition.

3. GCTF has six expert-driven working groups that allow for practitioners and experts to engage with key counterparts: the criminal justice sector and rule of law; countering violent extremism (CVE); detention and reintegration; foreign terrorist fighters; capacity building in the Sahel; and capacity building in the Horn of Africa Region. Each group is co-chaired by two GCTF members from different regions.

4. GCTF has adopted a series of rule-of-law based “good practice” documents to offer practical guidance on counterterrorism (CT) and CVE to policymakers and practitioners. This guidance addresses a wide range of topics, including: effective, human rights-compliant CT practice in the criminal justice sector; preventing and denying the benefits of kidnapping; community engagement and community-oriented policing; CVE and education; and prison radicalization and de-radicalization. These and other documents can be found in Arabic, English, and French at:

5. GCTF members adopted in September 2014 the first-ever set of international Good Practices for a More Effective Response to the Foreign Terrorist Fighter (FTF) Phenomenon (PDF 465 KB). This document informed the drafting of UN Security Council Resolution 2178 on FTFs, adopted during the 2014 Security Council Summit presided over by President Obama.

6. Hedayah, the first Forum-inspired institution and first-ever international center of excellence for training, dialogue, research, and collaboration on CVE, was launched in December 2012 in Abu Dhabi.

7. The International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law Center (IIJ), the second Forum-inspired institution, was launched in June 2014 in Valletta, Malta. It provides rule-of-law based training to criminal justice officials from across North, West, and East Africa, as well as the Middle East, on counterterrorism and related security challenges.

8. The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), the third Forum-inspired institution and the first-ever public-private global fund to support local, grass-roots efforts to counter violent extremism, was established in September 2014 in Geneva.

9. To support the practical implementation of the Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices for Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists, the GCTF has developed a set of highly interactive, discussion-based training modules.

10. One of the Forum’s main purposes is to reinforce and support the UN Global CT Strategy at the regional and national levels, and to do so in a way that complements and reinforces the work of the UN and other multilateral organizations.