MPs discuss building effective counter terrorism systems
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