Recalibrating Counterterrorism in the Security Council Two Decades after 9/11

The Securing the Future Initiative (SFI) is a joint project of the Fourth Freedom Forum and The Soufan Center. Launched in September 2021, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the SFI is conducting the first-ever independent review and assessment of the United Nations Security Council’s counterterrorism activities.

What's New

Counterterrorism and the United Nations Security Council Since 9/11

On September 23, SFI released its findings and recommendations following a year-long review on the impact of UN Security Council counterterrorism activities in the last two decades since 9/11.

SFI Report Launch Event

On September 23, SFI hosted an event in New York City to inaugurate the publication of its final report. SFI co-leads were joined by donor representatives and expert contributors to discuss the report's findings, and their implications for the future of the UN Security Council's counterterrorism regime.

Unpacking the Key Features of a Comprehensive Counterterrorism Approach by the UN Security Council

On September 1, SFI published a Policy Brief by Dr. Bibi van Ginkel that identifies key features of a comprehensive approach to preventing and countering terrorism and questions whether the UN Security Council is capable of and willing to develop or contribute to these sort of solutions.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Michael Ali

Assessing the Utility of the UN’s Terrorism Sanctions Regime 20 Years after 9/11

On August 4, SFI published a Policy Brief by Howard Wachtel examining the UNSC's targeted counterterrorism sanctions program, informally known as the "1267 regime". Even 20 years after the development of this sanctions architecture, he says the UN's understanding of its impact remains limited, and recommends it evaluates the regime's purpose and outcomes in the modern security environment.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact Virtual Roundtable

On August 3, SFI team hosted representatives from the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact to discuss how UN Security Council counterterrorism activities have impacted their own work in HQ and in the field. Members of several UN organs were in attendance, including CTED, UNOCT, UN Women, UNODC, ODA, WHO, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights.

Counter-Terrorism & Peace Operations

On July 12, SFI co-published a Research Brief with the RESOLVE Network by Charles T. Hunt & Shannon Zimmerman that draws on illustrative examples from the field to examine how the UNSC’s counterterrorism framework has impacted the mandates and practice of UN peace operations, particularly the large stabilization operations deployed in Africa. The brief concludes by providing recommendations to ensure that Security Council responses to terrorism and violent extremism do not unintentionally undermine the effectiveness of UN peace operations.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Harandane Dicko

Lessons from Africa

On June 30, SFI co-published a Research Brief with the RESOLVE Network by Amanda Lucey which analyzes the UN Security Council's efforts to mitigating the threat of terrorism in Africa, unpacks the African Union's approach to these issues, and looks at how these have impacted regional and national efforts on the ground before making recommendations on the way forward.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Gema Cortes

OIC Roundtable Discussion

On June 7, SFI convened a roundtable discussion co-hosted with the Permanent Missions of the Republic of Indonesia and Tunisia to the United Nations, which included representatives from member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss the impacts of the UN Security Council's counterterrorism activities over the past two decades on Muslim-majority countries and the OIC more broadly.