Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Assistance

Since September 11th, Canada has gone to considerable effort to increase our domestic capacity to prevent and respond to terrorist infiltration and attack. Strengthening our domestic response has been and should be a priority. However, our security is inextricably linked to that of other states. When other states lack the resources or expertise to prevent and respond to terrorist activity, the security of Canadians and Canadian interests, at home and abroad, is at risk.

Counter-terrorism capacity building (CTCB) assistance is the provision of training, funding, equipment, technical and legal assistance to other states to enable them to prevent and respond to terrorist activity in a manner consistent with international counter-terrorism and human rights norms, standards and obligations.

Much of the impetus driving this assistance stems from the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), which plays a central role in ensuring that states implement UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1373 (PDF 105 KB). The UN CTC determines the scope of what constitutes counter-terrorism capacity building assistance. The CTC also promotes coordination between international organizations engaged in providing this assistance or determining country needs. Canada provides counter-terrorism capacity building assistance to other states under UN Security Council Resolution 1456, in which the Security Council notes that "States should assist each other to improve their capacity to prevent and fight terrorism, and notes that such cooperation will help facilitate the full and timely implementation of resolution 1373..."

Counter-terrorism capacity building assistance also features high on the agendas of the G8, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Commonwealth, the Organization of American States (OAS), and other bodies of which Canada is a member. New standards and regulations, such as those stemming from UNSCR 1373 (PDF 105 KB) and functional organizations such as the International Maritime Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Customs Organization have created obligations for developing states for which they do not always have the resources and expertise to respond. As a result, Canada receives an increasing number of requests to provide this assistance. We are committed to assisting others, in a manner which transmits Canadian values, such as the respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Creation of the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program

On April 27, 2004, Canada's new National Security Policy was unveiled. The Policy announced that there would be an allocation of funds from the International Assistance Envelope to create a Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building (CTCB) Program to be administered by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. The Program will be managed interdepartmentally to ensure a whole-of-government approach to this assistance. This Program will enable Canada to share our expertise in areas such as border security; transportation security; anti-terrorism financing; legislative drafting, legal policy and human rights and counter-terrorism training; law enforcement, security, military and intelligence training; CBRN terrorism response; and cyber-security and critical infrastructure protection.

As the devastating human and economic costs of the October 2002 Bali attacks demonstrated, the links between security, prosperity and development cannot be ignored. The new Program will build capacity, primarily in developing states, helping to ensure the stable and secure environment which is a necessary prerequisite for sustainable development and one of Canada's development objectives. CTCB Program projects will be assessed to ascertain whether or not they meet the international standards for eligibility as Official Development Assistance (ODA), as determined by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada will work collaboratively with the Canadian International Development Agency to ensure that bilateral CTCB assistance is complementary to CIDA programming in beneficiary states.

Counter-terrorism investigations and other operations will not be funded through the Program, as they are the mandated responsibilities of the portfolio agencies of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada.

Most Program assistance will be provided by 19 federal departments and agencies, although initiatives conducted by Crown Corporations, provincial and municipal officials (such as police services and justice ministries), as well as established international, private sector, non-governmental organizations and centres of expertise will also be eligible for support through the Program.

Similar programs exist in the US Department of State and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which will facilitate joint activity and the leveraging of resources. Canada will also continue to work with other members of the Counter-Terrorism Action Group to coordinate assistance, avoid duplication, and provide this assistance in areas where we have particular expertise.

Have questions? Contact us at ict@international.gc.ca