Policy Brief

Mission Critical or Mission Creep? Issues to Consider for the Future of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee and Its Executive Directorate

Author : Alistair Millar
Date : October 2017

The UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) was established in 2004 with the core mission of supporting the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) in monitoring the implementation of counterterrorism obligations required by Security Council Resolution 1373 and facilitating technical assistance to member states to aid their implementation activities. Since 2004, however, CTED’s mandate has expanded considerably in response to the evolution of the threat and the increased number of stakeholders benefiting from CTED assessments and analyses, a group that includes not only the council itself, but also UN member states in general, regional and functional organizations, and other counterterrorism-relevant entities inside and outside the UN system.

This policy brief looks at CTED’s role in light of the need to maintain and strengthen its comparative advantage in assessing member states’ counterterrorism efforts while addressing existing and emerging threats of terrorism and aligning its working methodologies with these developments. It also assesses what CTED and the CTC can do to enhance coordination with partners within and outside the UN system. It then examines the benefits and limitations of CTED’s outputs in relation to its mandate, comparative advantage, capacity, and impact, and concludes by offering some ideas and recommendations for the Security Council, the CTC, and CTED to consider for the next four years and beyond.

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