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“Protection of ‘soft’ targets against terrorist attacks” - Virtual open briefing of the Counter-Terrorism Committee
27 Jan 2021 -  “Soft” targets, also called vulnerable targets, (e.g., urban public spaces or other sites that are crowded with local or tourist populations) are attractive to terrorists, including foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), because they are relatively open and easy to access; are subject to lower levels of security protection; and offer an opportunity not only to cause massive destruction, high civilian casualties, and widespread publicity with limited logistic and financial resources, but also to instil fear into the public. Such attacks have increased in numbers in every region of the world over recent years. The effective protection of “soft” targets requires not only the implementation of physical protection measures, but also the development of strong and resilient communities and close engagement with civil society and all other sections of society, including religious and community leaders, women, educators, youth, and social workers.
The objective of the proposed open briefing would enable representatives of Member States, United Nations entities, international and regional organizations, the private sector, civil society and academia to discuss current trends, threats, and the normative framework relating to the protection of “soft” targets and to share best practices and possible approaches for prevention, response, recovery and investigation. The open briefing will also provide an opportunity to address potential linkages to other Security Council resolutions pertaining to the protection of critical infrastructure, such as resolution 2341 (2017).
The briefing seeks to address challenges, gaps and vulnerabilities relevant to the protection of “soft” targets against terrorist attacks, as well as policies, instruments and tools developed to effectively manage risks to “soft” targets and enhance effective implementation of resolutions 2396 (2017) and other relevant resolutions (e.g., resolution 2341 (2017)).
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