The IIJ has officially launched CT PHARE – Platform for Human Rights Engagement, the new global facility in support of the EU External Action’s Council Conclusions on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism of June 2020, with an exceptional Experts Group Meeting in Valletta, Malta.
Between the 21st and 22nd of March, the IIJ welcomed more than thirty high-level experts from the human rights, criminal justice, and rule of law domains with extensive participation from international and regional organisations, including international NGOs, think tanks, academia, and civil society organisations. It was also an honour to welcome the League of Arab States, the Lake Chad Basin Commission, and the African Union, as their participation is key to the progress of CT PHARE.
CT PHARE is generously funded by the service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) of the European Commission. Mr. Matthew Willner-Reid from the FPI was present to officially launch the platform, along with Mr. Steven Hill, the IIJ’s Executive Secretary, and the CT PHARE team. During his speech, Mr. Willner-Reid said: ‘This event will provide an excellent opportunity for exchange and learning, and I look forward to the discussions and debates that lie ahead.’ He also expressed his support for having this launch event in Malta, a bridge that brings together Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
CT PHARE’s objectives in the coming three years are to provide human rights-based counterterrorism capacity building activities, including policy and institutional support to beneficiary countries and regions that request it.
This objective will be pursued through three components:
• Firstly, Enhancing Knowledge and Strengthening Capacities of Counter-Terrorism Practitioners, notably through targeted training courses and sharing of good practices
• Secondly, Supporting Policy and Institutional Reforms – for instance, on behalf of the GCTF’s Criminal Justice - Rule of Law Working Group, CT PHARE will carry out a survey of GCTF member states on the challenges encountered related to ensuring the right to a fair trial
• Thirdly, Promoting Transnational Cooperation on CT and human rights.
While interviewing some of the present experts about this EGM, they described CT PHARE as an ambitious, and promising project.
The scope of this project is global. However, for the first year, CT PHARE will focus on the following regions: East, North and West Africa, and the Middle East.