Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG)

The G8 formed the Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) in July 2003 under the French Presidency of the G8 as part of the G8 Action Plan: Building International Political Will and Capacity to Combat Terrorism adopted by Leaders at the Evian Summit.

Function of the CTAG

The CTAG primarily supports the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), by co-ordinating donations to counter-terrorism capacity building assistance, and performing outreach to other states to encourage them to adhere to UN Security Council Resolution 1373 and the 13 UN international instruments on terrorism.

Counter-terrorism capacity building assistance provides training, funding, expertise, equipment, technical and legal assistance to other countries, so that they can prevent and respond to terrorist activity within international norms and standards.

Areas of assistance include: fraudulent document detection; anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing; law enforcement training; training transportation, customs, immigration and border security officials; baggage screening at airports; chemical/biological/ radiological and nuclear (CBRN) prevention and response; examining marine vessels and containers; and assistance drafting counter-terrorism policies and legislation. For more information on this assistance, please visit the UN CTC's website.

CTAG Members

Standing members of the CTAG currently include the G8, the European Commission, and a representative from the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee. Representatives from Australia, Switzerland, and Spain have attended past sessions, as have officials from international, regional and functional organizations such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the Asian Development Bank, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization and the World Bank.

CTAG members assist other countries to build counter-terrorism capacity in a manner consistent with international norms and standards, including those related to protecting human rights. They focus on countries that they consider priorities, and on areas where they have expertise.

CTAG Meetings

CTAG members meet three times a year to share information on country needs, priorities for assistance, projects and programs they have undertaken; to learn about work of regional counter-terrorism training centres; and to learn more about technical assistance programs of international, regional and functional organizations and co-ordinate their work. The CTAG members work to avoid duplicating programs, to share best practices and lessons learned, and to improve policy coherence as they provide counter-terrorism capacity building assistance. They identify opportunities to leverage resources and use their collective influence where appropriate to encourage other countries to adhere to the 12 UN international instruments on terrorism.

To date, the CTAG has held ten meetings: July 2, 2003 (Paris); November 17, 2003 (Paris); February 20, 2004 (Washington, D.C.); April 16, 2004 (Washington, D.C.); November 15, 2004 (Washington, D.C); January 28, 2005 (London); April 29, 2005 (London); February 17 2006 (Moscow); April 28 2006 (Moscow); November 10 2006 (Moscow). The most recent meeting took place in April 2007, in Berlin. It is the responsibility of the G8 Presidency to initiate meetings and invite participants.

CTAG member states are generally represented at meetings by Foreign Ministry officials from capitals. These are expected to have broad views of the range of international counter-terrorism activities their governments undertake. The CTAG members are supported by their embassies abroad, who may hold local co-ordination meetings to identify country needs and share valuable information on the ground about assistance needs and activities.