What are the Madrid Guiding Principles?
Last Updated: Sep 10, 2019
On 27 and 28 July 2015, the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) held a special meeting in Madrid, Spain to discuss the follow-up to Security Council resolution 2178 (2014) on how to better stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters (i.e. "individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terrorist training"). The meeting was attended by Member States, international and regional organizations, academia and civil society representatives.
In its resolution 2178, adopted on 24 September 2014, the Security Council acknowledges the growing threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters and requires Member States to prevent and suppress the recruiting, organizing, transporting or equipping of foreign terrorist fighters.
The participants of the Madrid meeting identified 35 Guiding Principles which were subsequently adopted by the Security Council (S/2015/939). These Principles are intended as a practical tool for Member States in their efforts to combat terrorism and stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters. They are based on major gaps and effective practices identified during the meeting and focus on:
I. the detection of and intervention against the incitement, recruitment and facilitation of foreign terrorist fighters;
II. the prevention of travel by foreign terrorist fighters; and
III. criminalization, prosecution, international cooperation and the rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees.
In its resolution 2396, adopted on 21 December 2017, the Security Council requested the CTC, with the support of Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), to review the Madrid Guiding Principles. On 13 December 2018, the CTC held a special meeting dedicated to this review and identified a need to update the principles. It created an addendum to the guiding principles (S/2018/1177) which contains 17 additional principles.
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