The use of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) by terrorist organizations and outfits pose a significant threat to the regional as well as global security architecture. According to United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, FTFs are defined as “individuals who travel to a State other than their State of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terrorist training, including in connection with armed conflict”. They increase the intensity, duration, and complexity of conflicts and may constitute a serious danger to their States of origin, transit, destination, as well as neighbouring zones of armed conflict in which they are active.”. According to the Security Council, terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaida, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh) and associated groups have attracted over 30,000 FTFs from over 100 Member States.
Non-Aligned Movement, committed to establishing a peaceful global order has condemned violations and acts of terrorism committed by FTFs in Iraq, Syria, Libya and elsewhere. The Ministerial Meeting of the NAM held at Baku in April 2018 welcomed all victories achieved in the fight to eradicate the threat posed by this phenomenon. In addition, NAM has called for holding accountable those responsible of or involved in its creation and the facilitation of its activities. In this context, NAM has called for all States to address all aspects of this issue, including the movement of foreign terrorist fighters to and from conflict zones and the return of foreign terrorist fighters to their countries of origin or residence, or their deployment to a third country, through the implementation of their international obligations, and has underlined the importance of United Nations capacity-building and the facilitation of capacity-building in accordance with existing mandates to assist States, including those in the most affected regions, upon their request.
NAM has underlined the need for States to cooperate resolutely against international terrorism by taking speedy and effective measures to eliminate this scourge, and in this regard urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under applicable international law and the UN Charter, to deny safe haven and bring to justice or, where appropriate, extradite, on the basis of the principle of extradite or prosecute, the perpetrators of terrorist acts or any person who supports, facilitates or participates or attempts to participate in the financing, planning or preparation of terrorist acts.
NAM has called upon Member States to take note of “The Hague-Marrakech Memorandum on Good Practices for more effective Response to the FTF phenomenon”. This Memorandum presents a set of good practices for addressing the FTF phenomenon under four major headings: (1) radicalization to violent extremism;
(2) recruitment and facilitation;
(3) travel and fighting; and,
(4) return and reintegration.
All States are encouraged to consider these good practices, while recognizing that any implementation must be consistent with applicable international law, as well as national law and regulations, taking into account the varied histories, cultures, and legal systems among States.
NAM has also welcomed the adoption of adoption by the Security Council of several resolutions on countering Da’esh and other Al-Qaida affiliated groups, namely 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011), 2178 (2014), 2253 (2015) and 2368 (2017) addressing the phenomenon of the FTF. These resolutions call on Member States to collaborate in the pursuit of effective counternarrative strategies and initiatives, including those relating to foreign terrorist fighters and individuals radicalized to violence, in a manner compliant with their obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law.