Fostering Judicial and Law Enforcement Cooperation and Information-Sharing in Central Asia

By April 20, 2021 UNOCT Features News POM

The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organized a virtual regional workshop on fostering judicial and law enforcement cooperation and information sharing. The workshop focused on preventing and combatting the illicit trafficking of small-arms and light weapons and their illicit supply to terrorists.

The three-day event addressed the arms-crime-terrorism linkages in the context of Central Asia, and brought together officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The event was opened by Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism and Executive Director of UNCCT; His Excellency Mr. Oleg Syromolotov, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation; Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs; Ms. Natalia Gherman, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA);  Ms. Michèle Coninsx, Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED); and Mr. John Brandolino, Director of the Division for Treaty Affairs, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

“The Central Asia region has experienced the spill-over effect of terrorist movements and illicit drug and arms trafficking routes given its proximity to protracted conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. In particular, the region is facing the threat of returning foreign terrorist fighters who may seek to spread their doctrine and perpetrate terrorist acts” Mr. Voronkov said at the opening of the event.

“This event is of a particular significance to my country as it represents the start of a practical implementation of a large-scale project in the sphere of countering supply of weapons to terrorists in Central Asia,” Mr. Syromolotov indicated in his opening statement.

The workshop discussed legislative, normative and institutional frameworks. Participants had an opportunity to assess the timeliness and effectiveness of cooperation under existing protocols and networks through the analysis of scenarios situations. They also identified challenges to enhance the cooperation between criminal justice and law enforcement agencies in preventing terrorist and criminal access to illicit arms at the national, regional and international levels.

Participants included representatives from ministries of foreign affairs, interior, and justice, prosecutors’ offices, national security committees, migration, custom and border agencies, as well as relevant regional and international organizations. The diversity of the audience led to fruitful sharing of experience, information and approaches.

The workshop was organized by UNOCT/UNCCT and UNODC, in close collaboration with CTED and UNODA within the framework of the project on Addressing the terrorism-arms-crime nexus: Preventing and combatting the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons and their illicit supply to terrorists – Supporting the implementation of SCR.2370/2017 and the Madrid Guiding Principles.

UNOCT/UNCCT and UNODC also worked in partnership with UNRCCA to support the Joint Plan of Action for the Implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia in line with the joint UNOCT/UNCCT-UNRCCA project Towards a comprehensive implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia.

UNOCT was established in June 2017 to provide leadership on the implementation of General Assembly counter-terrorism mandates, to enhance coordination and coherence through the Global Counter-Terrorism Compact, and to strengthen the delivery of the United Nations counter-terrorism capacity-building assistance to the Member States, through UNCCT.

For more information, visit www.un.org/uncct