Marshall Center’s Counterterrorism Expertise Contributes to Ministerial-Level Conference
By Christine June
Public Affairs Office
George C. Marshall European Center
for Security Studies
KRANJ, Slovenia – (March 19, 2018) Professor James Wither, professor of national security studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, represented the Marshall Center at the Integrative Internal Security Governance (IISG) board meeting held at the Brdo Conference Center in Kranj, Slovenia March 14.
The purpose of the IISG board meeting was to approve the plan of action for 2018 to 2020. This plan aims to improve the governance and efficiency of internal security cooperation in the Western Balkan countries.
“The IISG aims to coordinate and integrate donor assistance programs, identify capability gaps, prevent duplication of effort and improve existing security capacity building programs,” Wither said.
The Integrative Internal Security Governance is a European-Union-funded organization that provides support for the Western Balkans’ Counterterrorism Initiative (WBCTI).
The Marshall Center has supported this initiative with needs assessment activities in the Western Balkans’ region, said Wither.
This meeting is a ministerial-level conference, which means that the interior ministers from all of the Western Balkan countries were present or represented, said Wither.
In total, Wither said about 50 delegates were in attendance. This included interior ministers from other countries outside of the Western Balkans, and officials and representatives from the EU, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“The Marshall Center’s Program on Terrorism and Security Studies (PTSS) team has worked with the WBCTI, which is a pillar of the IISG to assist with counterterrorism and countering violent extremism needs assessments in the Western Balkan countries,” Wither said. “Our contribution was specifically highlighted in the WBCTI action plan and during the IISG Chair Rajko Kozmelj’s meeting address. He praised the expertise and contribution of the Marshall Center.”