NATO-Russia Council conference on terrorism
The NATO-Russia Council (NRC) held a conference focused on developing effective cooperation in understanding terrorist tactics and methodology, on 17 and 18 May in Ankara, Turkey. The explosion of a terrorist bomb in the Turkish capital just a few days later served as a stark reminder of the pertinence of continued need for international cooperation against this threat.
The fight against terrorism is a key priority for practical cooperation under the NRC, which agreed an Action Plan on Terrorism in December 2004 to complement efforts underway elsewhere in the international community. This Action Plan aims at enhancing the abilities of NRC member states to act, individually and jointly, to prevent terrorism, combat terrorist activities and manage the consequences of terrorist acts.
Exploring four possible areas of cooperation
The conference in Ankara focused on exploring possibilities for cooperation in four key areas:
- developing an exchange of information on countering ideological support for terrorism;
- examining terrorists’ use of the internet for incitement, recruitment and fund-raising;
- initiating an NRC information exchange on crisis-response measures, with the aim of promoting continued informal exchanges of information and experience; and
- organising a workshop toward ensuring effective coordination among local and national crisis/terrorist responders.
Discussions were informal to allow for an open exchange of ideas and experience among participants. A report on the conference and its recommendations will be discussed in the NRC sub-bodies that deal with different aspects of the fight against terrorism.
The conference was organised with the support of Turkey's Centre for Excellence in Defence against Terrorism and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. The event followed up on an earlier conference on lessons learned from terrorist attacks, which was organised by the NRC in cooperation with the Marshall Center in Ljubljana in 2005.
The success of this first conference led to the decision to combine efforts with the Marshall Center again, with a view to developing more effective policy recommendations. As a result, the Ankara conference took place in parallel with a separate conference organised by the Marshall Center. Many of the NRC event's participants also attended this conference, which focused in depth