UN gives positive assessment of Belgium’s progress in preventing and combating terrorism

The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED) paid a working visit to Belgium from May 31 to June 4, with the objective of monitoring Belgium's implementation of UN counter-terrorism resolutions and assessing Belgian counter-terrorism policy.

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This committee also evaluates the cooperation between UN member states and disseminates best practices in the field of counter-terrorism. This was UNCTED's first assessment visit since the 2016 Brussels attacks.

UNCTED assists the Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee (1373 Committee), which was established in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. During this visit, the UN experts discussed with the Belgian authorities issues such as the assessment of the terrorist threat, judicial procedures against terrorists, local monitoring of radicalized individuals and the control of people and goods at our borders. The experts also met with representatives of civil society and visited Brussels National Airport and the Bru-Cargo terminal. This visit was coordinated by the FPS Foreign Affairs and was able to count on the participation of all relevant actors such as the Federal Prosecutor's Office, the FPS Justice, the FPS Interior, the Federal Police, the FPS Mobility, the Customs, the OCAM, the State Security and the SGRS.

During its recent term on the Security Council (2019-2020), Belgium advocated for every UN member state to participate in this type of assessment exercise, which is crucial for the proper implementation and monitoring of UN resolutions. Belgium welcomed the visit, highlighting the progress made by Belgium, for example on the legislative front and in the area of prevention and victim support, but also the challenges in the fight against terrorism.

A priority during the Security Council mandate was that the fight against terrorism must be compatible with respect for human rights and humanitarian law, which was reiterated to the CTED during the visit. Another priority for Belgium highlighted to the CTED as a good practice during the visit was the "whole of government approach", i.e., good cooperation and coordination between federal authorities, federated entities, specialized agencies and local authorities.


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