The 2018 meeting of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Counter-Terrorism Conference was held in Rome at the Grand Hotel Parco dei Principi. Italy has this year’s chairmanship of the conference and promoted the theme “The Reverse Flow of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs): Challenges for the OSCE Area and Beyond”. Representatives from the 57 OSCE member countries took part.
The opening session was addressed by Ambassador Vinicio Mati, OSCE Italian Chairmanship Co-ordinator for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Director of the Office of the OSCE Secretary General, Paul Bekkers.
The return of foreign fighters to Europe is a real risk following the military defeat of Daesh in Iraq and Syria, therefore OSCE Italian Chairmanship has made it a priority to counter this. “Managing the return of the fighters, their supporters and families is a potential emergency for the entire OSCE area,” said Ambassador Vinicio Mati. He said it was important to focus on the danger represented by those fighters who “try to move to other countries instead of returning to their places of origin to carry out attacks or find new converts”. He went on: “This has to be prevented, enhancing information-sharing and recognition systems, identifying airline passengers and checking the numbers crossing borders between countries.”
The closing session was coordinated by Alessandro Cortese, Deputy Director General for Political Affairs and Security for the Farnesina, and Rasa Ostraukaite, OSCE Co-ordinator of Activities to Address Transnational Threats.