On September 7 - 10, 2021, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security John K. Tien traveled to the United Kingdom to participate in the U.S-UK Joint Contact Group and the G7 Interior and Security Ministers meeting.
“The United States is proud to stand with our G7 allies in our counterterrorism efforts and we look forward to continued cooperation to protect our nations from shared threats to our national security, as well as continued partnership to protect and support vulnerable Afghans,” said Deputy Secretary Tien. “I would like to thank Her Majesty’s Government and our other G7 partners for the very warm welcome we received in London, as well as the strong partnership and timely discussions.”
On September 7, Deputy Secretary Tien took part in the U.S-UK Joint Contact Group (JCG) hosted by the UK Home Office Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft. Since its June 2003 inaugural meeting, the JCG has provided strategic direction for U.S.–UK homeland security cooperation and collaboration. Deputy Secretary Tien reiterated the close partnership and friendship with the UK Home Office and emphasized the opportunities for cooperation efforts to counter terrorism, fight misinformation and malign foreign influence, and address the challenge of irregular migration.
Deputy Secretary Tien and Permanent Secretary Rycroft ended their meeting by signing an updated JCG Statement of Principles, re-affirming and memorializing the purpose and structure of the JCG. Following the JCG, Deputy Secretary Tien met with UK Department for Transportation (DfT) Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Minister Robert Courts. Their discussion focused on aviation security initiatives being jointly developed by DHS Customs and Border Protection, DHS Transportation Security Administration, and the DfT.
On September 8 and 9, Deputy Secretary Tien joined counterparts from the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, the European Union, and INTERPOL at the G7 Interior and Security Ministers meeting to discuss a range of shared global security priorities, including countering domestic violent extremism and other counterterrorism efforts, child sexual exploitation and abuse, and the security situation in Afghanistan. Deputy Secretary Tien focused on opportunities for the United States and its international partners to enhance information sharing to support counterterrorism cooperation and the screening of migrants and asylum seekers. The U.S. Government was also represented by the Department of Justice.
While at the G7, Deputy Secretary Tien met bilaterally with Canadian Deputy Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Rob Stewart, German State Secretary Hans-Georg Engelke, Secretary General of INTERPOL Jürgen Stock, and EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson. Deputy Secretary Tien thanked the G7 partners for the united efforts to protect and support vulnerable Afghans. He affirmed that the U.S. stands with its G7 partners in fighting racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and reiterated the U.S.’s prioritization of the fight against ransomware. The G7 committed to hold a G7 Extraordinary Senior Officials Forum on ransomware by the end of 2021.
Deputy Secretary Tien supported the G7 call on industry and governments to develop more innovative and consistent approaches to tackling all forms of violent extremist and terrorist content online. He joined G7 counterparts in strengthening the G7 stance on countering crimes that profit from irregular migration, such as migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons. Finally, the G7 Interior and Security meeting emphasized additional support for INTERPOL to help improve governance and further develop its tools and resources.
On September 10, Deputy Secretary Tien toured the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) headquarters in London. DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) shares a robust and active relationship with NCSC. Deputy Secretary Tien also met with DHS employees. He thanked them for their service and continued dedication to the mission. Deputy Secretary Tien also met with the Interim Chargé d’Affaires Philip Reeker and expressed his appreciation for the great support of the U.S. Embassy London.