The State of Qatar partnered with the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT) to launch BI Hub as a UNOCT Program Office in Doha in 2020. The move highlighted Qatar’s relentless commitment to counterterrorism cooperation with the UN, in full harmony with its policies that strongly condemn all terrorist acts regardless of their motives, including those fueled by racism, ethnicity or ideology.
The BI Hub inauguration in Doha under a Qatar-UNOCT accord sealed in Dec. 2019 further reflects Doha’s endeavors to implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in an integrated and balanced manner given the emerging global challenges and threats.
The Centers main objectives comprised conducting and developing behavioral science research to better grasp the motives behind the evolving tendency to extremism that leads to violent extremism; assisting UN Member States, regional organizations and civil society partners in building capacities to develop and implement programs, projects and initiatives that integrate behavioral insights into the fight against terrorism; and enhancing communication, awareness and partnerships with the aim of exchanging knowledge and expertise on interventions to combat terrorism.
In Sep. 2020, UNOCT and the State of Qatar sealed a Contribution Agreement under which Doha would give USD 5 million to be used over a three-year period for the Hub and its activities.
The Hub will leverage the expertise of local, regional and international actors in the field of counter-terrorism, and boost programming cooperation and coordination with the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact entities in order to implement impactful and comprehensive programs on behavioral insights to combat terrorism.
In 2022, the State of Qatar announced it would renew its annual contribution to the UNOCT with a USD 15 million annually, for an additional three years, bringing the State of Qatar at the forefront of donors to the UN office.
This contribution goes to many BI Hub programs and projects to implement its mandate in the field of policies, coordination and capacity building. Among the programs are the UN Countering Terrorist Travel (CT Travel) Program, UNOCT’s Global Program on Countering Terrorist Threats against Vulnerable Targets, the Global Counter-Terrorism Program on Autonomous and Remotely Operated Systems (AROS Program), and the UN Global Program on Security of Major Sporting Events, and the Promotion of Sport and its Values as a Tool to Prevent Violent Extremism.
The contribution will also be used to organize thrilling international and regional conferences and events, including the first UN Global Conference on Victims of Terrorism in September.
Meanwhile, the State of Qatar made a USD 75 million contribution to support the UNOCT general strategy.
The State of Qatar is a founding member of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF), which coordinates initiatives with 30 different countries, including France, the UK, Germany, Canada and the US.
In March, 2022, Qatar staged the first annual forum for beneficiaries of technical assistance in the field of counter-terrorism in partnership with UNOCT. Bringing together recipients, providers and donors of technical assistance, the event highlighted the significant impact of UNOCT’s diverse and integrated projects and programs that helped evaluate performance to improve efficiency.
Doha is an active member of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC), which includes all GCC countries and the US. The TFTC aims to confront new and evolving risks of terrorist financing and designate individuals and entities associated with Al Qaeda and ISIS in the Arabian Peninsula.
In June 2020, the US Department of State issued its detailed annual report on terrorism for the year 2019, in which it appreciated Qatar’s efforts in combating terrorism at all levels and highlighted the two parties counter-terrorism dialogue in Nov. 2019 that culminated in the completion of a full memorandum of understanding committed to identifying their common priorities.
Coinciding Qatars FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 hosting, UNOCT-led Global Sports Program in cooperation with Generation Amazing held a dialogue on the value of sport as an effective tool to prevent violent extremism.
Since it was inaugurated in Doha, the BI Hub has made tangible achievements including a podcast and a guidance note on approaches to fostering resilience in countering violent extremism.
The Hub is based in the UN House in Doha, which also hosts offices for 10 organizations, including the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Regional Center for Combating Cybercrime, Analysis and Outreach Hub of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (OSRSG CAAC), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UNDP, and the UNOCT Program Office on Parliamentary Engagement in Preventing and Countering Terrorism.
Source: Qatar News Agency