MPs dis­cuss build­ing ef­fec­tive counter ter­ror­ism sys­tems

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Yes­ter­day, par­lia­men­tar­i­ans from Europe, the Mid­dle East and Africa, as well as rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Euro­pean Union and other in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions, gath­ered in Val­letta to con­clude the In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute for Jus­tice and the Rule of Law pro­ject ‘En­hanc­ing the role of Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans in Build­ing Ef­fec­tive Counter-Ter­ror­ism Sys­tems within a Rule of Law Frame­work’.

This process was launched in Malta in May 2015, and cul­mi­nated in the adop­tion of the Val­letta Rec­om­men­da­tions in Septem­ber 2016.

In his key note ad­dress, For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Ge­orge Vella em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of co­op­er­a­tion in ad­dress­ing the global threat that ter­ror­ism presents. Coun­ter­ing ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda and the ap­peal of vi­o­lence is one of the big­gest chal­lenges that the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity is cur­rently fac­ing, and state re­sponse has to be multi-faceted and based on sound rule of law.

Min­is­ter Vella high­lighted the spe­cific chal­lenges be­ing faced by youth, chal­lenges which lead to detri­men­tal con­se­quences that span bor­ders where rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion and vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism are tak­ing cen­tre stage and cast­ing youth as their pro­tag­o­nists. The need to en­gage young peo­ple di­rectly be­comes more im­per­a­tive, and it is here that Dr Vella em­pha­sised the need to stop talk­ing to young peo­ple about rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion, and start talk­ing with them in­stead.

Min­is­ter Vella noted that this global cli­mate places Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans in an even more crit­i­cal role in re­spond­ing to chal­lenges pre­sented by ter­ror­ism. Ad­her­ence to the rule of law serves as a first de­ter­rent to the ad­vance­ment of ter­ror­ist ide­olo­gies and ac­tions. In this re­gard, the min­is­ter com­mended the IIJ for suc­cess­fully in­creas­ing the en­gage­ment of na­tional par­lia­men­tar­i­ans in re­spond­ing to ter­ror­ism, of­fer­ing a plat­form for dis­cus­sion and the shar­ing of best prac­tices.

Soon at the helm of the Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union, the For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter noted that Malta will con­tinue to work to­wards the main­stream­ing of coun­tert­er­ror­ism fur­ther into broader EU poli­cies and strate­gies to bet­ter ad­dress the chang­ing na­ture of ter­ror­ism.

The IIJ is a GCTF-in­spired In­sti­tute launched in Malta in 2014. Its aim is to pro­vide rule of law­based train­ing to law­mak­ers, po­lice, prose­cu­tors, judges, cor­rec­tions of­fi­cials, and other jus­tice stake­hold­ers on how to ad­dress ter­ror­ism and re­lated transna­tional crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties within a rule of law frame­work. Since its es­tab­lish­ment, over 1000 judges, prose­cu­tors, in­ves­ti­ga­tors, par­lia­men­tar­i­ans, and other crim­i­nal jus­tice pro­fes­sion­als have par­tic­i­pated in over 50 in­ter­na­tional pro­grammes, pri­mar­ily from North, East, and West Africa, the Mid­dle East, and the Balkans in the area of coun­tert­er­ror­ism.

This global cli­mate places Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans in an even more crit­i­cal role

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