Counter-terrorism: ‘Marrakech Platform’, Important Contribution to Stronger Regional Response – UN Official –

The “Marrakech Platform” is an important contribution towards a stronger regional response in the fight against terrorism, said, on Friday in Tangier, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-terrorism (UNOCT), Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov. « The increasingly complex nature of the terrorist threat requires multilateral cooperation and multiagency approaches to create a stronger and more cohesive regional response. The Marrakech Platform is an important contribution to that end, » said Voronkov at the opening of the 2nd edition of the High-Level Meeting of Heads of Counter-Terrorism and Security Agencies in Africa “Marrakech Platform”, co-chaired by Morocco and the United Nations Office of (UNOCT). On this occasion, Voronkov expressed his sincere gratitude to the Kingdom of Morocco for its “immense support” to the United Nations Office of Counter-terrorism, and for hosting the second annual meeting of the Marrakech Platform this year in Tangier. The UN official recalled in this context the opening, in June last year, by the UNOCT of its Program Office in Rabat and its training center for counter-terrorism in Africa, with the “strong political support and generous financial contribution by the government of Morocco”. « I am very proud to say that since its opening, the Rabat Office has already conducted important capacity-building activities together with our partners from Morocco, » he stressed, citing in particular the launch last year of a specialized training program on counter-terrorism investigations. UNOCT staff members from the Counter-Terrorism Investigations Programme, Kidnap for Ransom Project, and the Global Fusion Cells Programme now also operate out of Rabat, « ensuring their close proximity to African Member States, and facilitating more tailored and effective delivery, » he underlined. Voronkov took the opportunity to “thank again the Kingdom of Morocco, and our observers, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Qatar, Brazil, and the European Union » for their support, which « allows us to grow and effectively deliver our programmes throughout the continent ». He also welcomed the “strategic cooperation” between Morocco and the United Nations Office of Counter-terrorism, noting that this meeting of the “Marrakech Platform” is an opportunity to discuss practical ways of supporting African member states in a more effective fight against terrorism. « I am happy to see the Marrakesh Platform evolving with a growing level of participation and welcome the opportunity to once again have an open discussion with national stakeholders about the strategies and approaches to reinforce regional cooperation on counter-terrorism issues » he said. Voronkov noted that the two-day event will be an opportunity to address common challenges in inter-agency cooperation, share best practices in strategic decision-making and strengthen national approaches to counter-terrorism. He added in this respect that Africa remains a priority for UNOCT, announcing in this context the organization, in early 2024 in Abuja, in collaboration with the Nigerian government, of an African summit on the fight against terrorism under the theme “Strengthening regional cooperation and institution building to address the evolving threat of terrorism in Africa”.