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Report of the Secretary-General on the threat of terrorists benefiting from transnational organized crime
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21 May 2015
Report of the Secretary-General on the threat of terrorists benefiting from transnational organized crime
1. On 19 December 2014, the Security Council convened a thematic debate on terrorism and cross-border crime, which was chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Chad, and at which the Council adopted its resolution 2195 (2014). In the resolution, the Council stressed the need to work collectively to combat terrorism benefiting from transnational organized crime. It requested me to submit to it a report on the efforts of the United Nations entities to address that threat, and that the report include recommendations of concrete options for strengthening Member States' capabilities.
2. In the resolution, the Council, inter alia, requested the relevant United Nations entities to assist Member States to develop their capacity to effectively respond to, prevent, investigate and prosecute terrorist acts, and called upon Member States to help to build the capacity of other Member States. The Council reaffirmed the need to combat threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts; and encouraged Member States to enhance cooperation, focusing on the need to implement existing legal instruments, strengthen border management and combat terrorist financing.
3. Terrorism and transnational organized crime are distinct phenomena, have different ways of working and aims, and are addressed through different international legal frameworks. Despite the differences, for the past 15 years the General Assembly and the Security Council have been considering how terrorists interact with transnational organized criminal groups because such interactions are increasingly affecting international peace and security.
4. The present report, which contains contributions from across the United Nations system, including from the field, provides a conceptual framework on the threat of terrorists benefiting from transnational organized crime. Only terrorist groups included in the Al-Qaida Sanctions List pursuant to Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) and groups that have committed terrorist acts in violation of the international legal framework against terrorism, including matters with which the Council is seized, are considered.
5. Although examples of criminal activities from which terrorists draw resources are identified in the report, there is, regrettably, a paucity of data, which affects the sound analysis of the threats. Further research and analysis will help Member States and the United Nations to respond better over time to the threat of terrorism.
6. The finding of the report is that the impact on international peace and security of terrorists benefiting from transnational organized crime is increasing, since their interactions may enable them to accumulate the financial and political resources to rival sovereign States. Such resources are used to support ongoing military campaigns, administer entire territories and expand offensives beyond established borders. At the same time, high levels of violence and crime are undermining the legitimacy of States (understood as both trust in the State and the State's ability to protect and comply with the rule of law). By removing popular support, such levels of violence and crime make it harder for States to provide sound governance. There can be no peace without development, no development without peace, and no lasting peace or development without good governance and respect for human rights and the rule of law. The undermining of State legitimacy that results from such interactions therefore represents a critical strategic challenge that requires a response.
7. The report contains recommendations on strengthening the capacities of Member States to mitigate and eventually eliminate the impact of terrorists benefiting from transnational organized crime. The recommendations are multidimensional, including strategic and operational political, legal and law enforcement perspectives. Ways in which the United Nations can support efforts in that regard are also proposed.
II. Links between terrorism and transnational organized crime
A. Nature of links
8. Theoretically, terrorist and transnational organized criminal groups have distinct objectives. Terrorist groups deliberately challenge State authority and seek political change through violent means for many, including ideological, reasons. Spectacular attacks and targeted violence, including sexual violence and violence against minorities, are carried out to gain the attention of the international media. The reporting of such acts then contributes to the recruitment efforts of such groups. Terrorists hope that, the more broadly their narratives are circulated, including by the media, the more quiet sympathizers, public supporters and active recruits will be enticed to join their cause. Money is regarded as an instrument, rather than a goal, for them to continue their operations to contest State power.
9. Groups involved in transnational organized crime typically engage in clandestine operations in order to avoid the attention of State authorities and the media. Rather than aiming to cause political change, criminal organizations exploit the status quo to enrich themselves. The disruption they cause to State authority is intended to create, expand or maintain conditions that are beneficial to their operations.
10. In practice, the distinction described above is not always apparent. As shown in the examples set out in the section B below, some terrorist groups are linked to and deeply involved in transnational organized crime. Both types of groups play a role in perpetuating instability, which in turn provides fertile ground to support their operations. Transnational organized criminal groups can provide funds, weapons and other means that terrorist groups need to sustain their activities.
11. In recent years, links have been drawn between terrorist and transnational organized criminal groups, although the nature, extent and depth of such links have been debated. Since terrorism and transnational organized crime are both constantly evolving, to make any general statements about how they reinforce each other without reference to specific examples remains a challenge. The issue therefore represents an increasing threat to international peace and security.
12. The interaction between terrorist and transnational organized criminal groups is not straightforward. Terrorist groups benefit from transnational organized crime by coercion or taxation, cooperation and direct engagement. The present report only covers how terrorists benefit from organized crime. It does not cover other links, such as competition between terrorists and criminal groups.
13. First, some terrorist groups collect fees for the safe passage of traffickers. Criminal groups operating in the Sahel region, for example, have reportedly been paying dues to Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb for the unhindered movement of goods from West Africa to the Mediterranean coast.
14. Second, certain terrorist groups appear to work with transnational organized criminal groups to secure expertise, for example, in money-laundering techniques, or operational support, such as gaining access to smuggling routes or creating forged documents to bring in foreign terrorist fighters. In Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is leveraging long-standing smuggling networks to export illicitly extracted crude oil using tanker trucks operated mainly by private middlemen (see S/2014/815).
15. Third, some terrorist groups engage directly in organized crime. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is said to be directly involved in drug trafficking to fund its terrorist operations. Similarly, the Abu Sayyaf Group is said to have splintered into cells, most of which appear to be driven less by ideology than by the pursuit of money (see S/2014/770).
B. Thematic focus
16. Terrorists benefit from transnational organized crime in different ways. The scope of the present report does not provide for a comprehensive analysis of all types of crimes from which terrorist groups may benefit. A few key examples are elaborated, however, to highlight some crimes from which terrorists are able to benefit either directly or indirectly. The crimes are presented in the same order as listed in the seventh preambular paragraph of Security Council resolution 2195 (2014).
1. Trafficking in arms
17. The illicit trade of small arms, light weapons and ammunition is a source of insecurity. Cheap, light and easy to handle, transport and conceal, such arms are the weapons of choice of terrorists and organized criminals to carry out attacks. On all continents, the lack of controls on small arms is a persistent problem. A build-up of small arms alone may not create the conflicts in which they are used, but their excessive accumulation and wide availability is a key enabler of conflict. Violence becomes more lethal and longer-lasting, and a sense of insecurity grows, which in turn leads to greater demand for weapons.
18. Terrorist groups rely on arms trafficked by regional criminal networks to maintain their operational capabilities. After the fall of the Government in Libya in 2011, government-held stocks were looted and weapons trafficked illicitly to neighbouring countries and beyond, where they fell into the hands of terrorists and organized criminal groups that are currently using them to destabilize the region and beyond.
19. According to the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, and pursuant to Security Council resolution 2060 (2012), security forces in Puntland seized several cargoes reportedly destined for Al-Shabaab, including two cargoes of arms in the Bari region of Puntland. The Monitoring Group established that Yemen was the primary source of the shipments and further investigated networks of weapons smugglers receiving such cargoes in Puntland and "Somaliland". Al-Shabaab and associated weapons smuggling networks have access to delivery points along the northern coast of Somalia and, to a lesser extent, the coast of central and southern Somalia.
2. Human trafficking and smuggling of migrants
20. Defined in short as the recruitment, transportation, harbouring or receipt of persons by means of coercion, deception or abuse of a position of vulnerability for the purpose of exploitation, |1| trafficking in persons is a very serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers within their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination.
21. It is believed that ISIL, for example, generates significant revenue from human trafficking. The United Nations has documented the trafficking of women and children between Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic by ISIL, in particular since June 2014. ISIL has captured Yazidi and Turkmen girls in Iraq and has brought them into the Syrian Arab Republic to be sold as sex slaves. Seven cases of girls abducted in that context have been confirmed, but the United Nations believes that the number is much higher. Underage boys are also being forcibly brought across the border for indoctrination and military training by ISIL after capture or induction as "voluntary recruits".
22. The smuggling of migrants refers to the procurement of the illegal entry of a person into a State to obtain a benefit. |2| Terrorist groups can be involved in the smuggling of fighters to conflict zones, which takes place through a large network of recruiters, producers of forged documents and escorts to the conflict zones. Terrorist groups may also use the outflow of refugees and migrants to collect significant sums for allowing safe passage.
23. According to the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, terrorist organizations and organized criminal groups in South-Eastern Europe benefit from human trafficking through "tax" collections imposed during border crossings or in cases of illegal migrant settlement. The exploitation of illegal migrants and trafficking victims provides terrorist organizations with recruitment opportunities in South-Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
24. Sexual and gender -based violence, including the abduction of more than 2,000 women and girls, |3| constitutes a deliberate tactic of Boko Haram. The kidnapping of more than 270 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria, in April 2014 has been the single largest incident to date. The abductions are being used for tactical reasons to lure security forces into an ambush, force payment of a ransom or exchange prisoners. |4| Many of the abductees are forced into marriage, with reports claiming that girls are sold as wives to fighters for around $10 -15 each. |5| Reports indicate that abducted women and girls held in captivity by Boko Haram experience a range of violations, including physical and psychological abuse; forced labour, participation in military operations and marriage to their captors; and sexual abuse, including rape. |4| In addition, the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the north-eastern area of the country has resulted in large-scale displacement, which has led to rape and child trafficking during population flight and in camps for internally displaced persons. Sexual and gender-based violence is rarely reported, however, because of fear of stigmatization and prevailing cultural beliefs.
3. Trafficking of drugs
25. Drug trafficking is a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances that are subject to prohibition laws. In 2009, the Afghan Opiate Trade Project of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated global heroin consumption to be at 375 tons. The amount of heroin flowing at the global level, including seizures, was estimated to be between 460 and 480 tons, of which around 380 tons were produced from Afghan opium. An estimated 365 tons left Afghanistan, mostly via Pakistan (160 tons) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (115 tons) and, to a lesser extent, Central Asia (90 tons). The opiate trade worldwide generated an estimated $68 billion at the retail level. In its World Drug Report 2013, UNODC estimated an increase in potential global heroin production to 560 tons, of which more than 420 tons were produced from Afghan opium. The gross value of exports of opiates (opium, morphine and heroin) from Afghanistan to neighbouring countries was estimated by UNODC in its annual Afghanistan Opium Survey, issued in cooperation with the Ministry of Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan, at $3 billion in 2013, equivalent to 14 per cent of the country's gross domestic product, and up from $1.6 billion in 2009.
26. According to its Afghan Opiate Trade Project, UNODC estimated that, in 2009, the Afghan Taliban earned around $155 million from the opiate trade by providing protection and unobstructed transit to organized criminal drug trafficking groups in territories in which they had a strong presence. At the same time, drug lords in Afghanistan used proceeds from the illegal trade in narcotics to finance the Taliban. In addition to cooperating with drug traffickers, the Taliban tap into the supply chain at each stage of the narcotics trade (cultivation, production and trafficking) (see S/2015/79), such as by taxing farmers by collecting 10 per cent of the proceeds from opium cultivation as ushr (land tax) in Helmand Province. The influence of the Taliban in the supply chain is also felt in the presence of Taliban training camps near drug laboratories.
27. In the context of cocaine trafficking, UNODC estimated in its February 2013 report Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa: A Threat Assessment that around 18 tons of cocaine, worth $1.25 billion at the wholesale level, were trafficked from West Africa to Europe in 2010, meaning that approximately 10 per cent of the cocaine found in Europe that year (in other words, cocaine consumed and seized in Europe) came from West Africa. There are persistent allegations that cocaine is trafficked by land across the Sahara desert to the Mediterranean coast. Aside from the hostile terrain and limited road infrastructure, the region is also contested by armed groups. It has often been posited that such groups are receiving funds by participating in drug trafficking, but evidence to support that claim has been limited. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is allegedly involved in the drug flow through West Africa. Traders who regularly use the roads of the Sahel have reported that a group associated with Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is active in the region and is involved in informal taxation of all kinds of smuggled goods.
28. A number of other groups, including, but not limited to, ISIL, al-Nusrah Front and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan are reportedly involved in or benefit from drug trafficking.
4. Trafficking in cultural property
29. Another trend of increasing concern, particularly in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic, is the looting of cultural property and associated trafficking by terrorist groups. As the Council noted in its resolution 2199 (2015), ISIL, al-Nusrah Front and other individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida generate income from the looting and smuggling of cultural heritage items in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic. The income generated from such activities is used to support recruitment efforts and to strengthen operational capabilities. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), illegal excavations across archaeological sites in the Syrian Arab Republic are a major source for the illicit trafficking of looted cultural objects for sale on regional and international black markets, and cause extensive and irreversible damage to the sites.
30. As highlighted by the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, ISIL earns revenue by taxing the looters. The looting has become more systematic and organized. For example, it has been reported that ISIL has become more involved in digging at sites and uses contractors with bulldozers for that purpose. Excavated objects are then sold to local dealers (see S/2014/815). Revenue derived from the illicit trafficking of cultural property contributes to funding and supporting terrorist actions.
5. Illegal exploitation and trafficking of natural resources
31. There are numerous specific cases of terrorist groups directly or indirectly exploiting the natural resources of the territories they control, including minerals, such as gold, and charcoal and oil. For example, according to the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group, the total revenue of charcoal exports from Somalia was in excess of $250 million in 2013 and 2014, one third of which is estimated to have gone to Al-Shabaab.
32. According to the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, the most significant source of continuing revenue for ISIL is the illicit sale of oil and the ability of ISIL to leverage long-standing commodity smuggling networks in order to smuggle by using barges, large groupings of barrels and small diameter piping typically used in irrigation. However, the predominant method for smuggling crude oil appears to be by tanker trucks often operated by private middlemen. Intermediaries are said to find buyers both in the region and on the global market. ISIL has captured several operational oilfields that provide thousands of barrels and generate up to $2 million in revenue per day (S/2014/815).
33. In Afghanistan, the Taliban's penetration of the natural resources sector is deep, and extortion is fairly pervasive. The Taliban are directly involved in the extraction of natural resources. They also extort or try to extort assets from government-licensed and unlicensed mining operations and act as "service providers" for the latter (S/2015/79).
6. Kidnapping for ransom
34. Terrorist groups are increasingly involved in kidnapping for ransom or for the purpose of gaining political concessions, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa, the Sahel and the Mediterranean region, often with the support of transnational criminal networks. The profits from ransoms enable terrorist and criminal organizations to grow, recruit and buy weapons, thereby affecting security.
35. In its sixteenth report submitted pursuant to resolution 2161 (2014) concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities, the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team mentioned that even in cases in which terrorists resorted to kidnapping for ransom as a source of financing, they often subcontracted to criminal gangs the actual abduction and delivery of victims (see S/2014/770).
36. Ransom payments continue to be a significant source of financing for ISIL, whose kidnapping tactics echo those of Al-Qaida in Iraq. The majority of the victims have been local residents, along with a smaller group of international humanitarian workers and journalists. In its report, the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team estimated that ISIL had raised between $35 million and $45 million in a 12-month period (approximately $96,000-$123,000 per day) from ransom payments (see S/2014/770).
37. According to estimates, the Al-Qaida affiliate in South-East Asia, the Abu Sayyaf Group, collected $1.5 million in ransom payments between 2008 and August 2014. Half of that amount was reportedly collected in 2012 and 2013. Intermediaries are believed to play an important role in the Group's kidnapping activities, pocketing a substantial part of the ransoms (see S/2014/770).
38. In Afghanistan, the Taliban abducted Afghan citizens and foreigners in increasing numbers from 2003 to 2014. The total amount of ransoms paid for releasing foreigners is estimated to be at least $16 million. The Taliban or criminal groups acting on their behalf have shifted their focus from using kidnappings as an instrument of intimidation and terror to a mechanism for targeting financially valuable foreign or local individuals (see S/2015/79).
39. The primary sources of income for Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb are trafficking and kidnapping for ransom. According to estimates, the group has collected approximately $91.5 million since 2008. |6| Boko Haram has also targeted high-profile officials in Cameroon and Nigeria.
7. Money-laundering and terrorism financing
40. Money-laundering and terrorism financing are cross-cutting crimes in the context of terrorists benefiting from organized crime. The sources of financing can be legal -- for example, personal savings, assets of licit businesses, funds from charities and non-profit organizations -- or illicit. If proceeds are illicit, terrorists opt to use them directly to finance activities or launder them so that they can be integrated into the formal economy. Two main methods of money-laundering are used: legal funds are integrated into local or regional financial systems, or money is physically moved -- by using cash couriers, for example -- or exchanged for goods that enter into regional trading systems.
41. The proceeds from transnational organized crime can be made available for use in supporting terrorist organizations and funding terrorist acts in diverse ways, including the abuse of non-profit organizations and charities to raise funds for terrorist activities and/or as a means to transfer money; the use of new payment methods, including sophisticated telecommunications technology and new financial products such as electronic currencies; and the physical cross-border transportation of currency and bearer negotiable instruments. Assessments by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate show that such activities are particularly prevalent in some regions and often link cash-intensive organized crime to terrorism in East and West Africa.
42. In Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba has reportedly used charities as a front for its activities, including raising funds, evading sanctions and providing social services (schools and health clinics) to communities to recruit new members. |7|
43. According to the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, Al-Qaida and its affiliates continue to exploit formal and informal financial systems in order to move funds across borders to fund their activities (see S/2013/467).
44. The connection between intellectual property crime and terrorism financing, as well as other crimes, may entail direct or indirect involvement on the part of a terrorist organization, according to the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate.
C. Main political and strategic consequences
45. Terrorist groups benefiting from organized crime pose an increasing threat to international peace and security. They become well-funded and more resilient and gain stronger operational capacities. That in turn puts them in a strong position to threaten the sovereignty of States directly, including by conducting military campaigns and controlling territory and populations across international borders.
46. Groups such as ISIL have fundamentally changed the landscape of global terrorism. By interacting with transnational organized criminal groups, or by being involved in organized crime itself, ISIL continues to accumulate the resources necessary to capture and control territory and populations. The city of Mosul, Iraq, with a population of nearly 1 million, has been under the control of ISIL for more than a year. According to some estimates, ISIL commands as many as 31,000 fighters and its resources now enable it to establish quasi-administrative structures. Former technocrats, including engineers and military generals, have become part of the administrative machinery. The de facto governance role assumed by ISIL allows it to rival the Governments of Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic and challenge international borders, which poses a fundamental political and strategic threat to sovereignty.
47. As shown in the case of Boko Haram, insecurity in one region of a country can spread to neighbouring countries swiftly, jeopardizing the security of the entire region. According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, since a state of emergency was declared in Nigeria in May 2013, close to 1.9 million people have been displaced in the region, including 1.5 million in Nigeria, 96,000 in Cameroon, 50,000 in the Niger and 15,000 in Chad. Additionally, significant numbers of people from Nigeria are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
48. Terrorists benefiting from transnational organized crime can also undermine State legitimacy at a slower pace, which could ultimately have consequences for international peace and security. Proceeds from crimes are frequently used to corrupt government officials, which weakens the rule of law and paves the way for further criminal activities, creating a vicious circle of impunity. This, in turn, weakens government institutions, undermines sustainable economic development and delegitimizes the State.
49. Limited State authority emboldens terrorists and criminals to seek control of key areas, such as trafficking or smuggling routes, or sectors of an economy to conduct their illegal activities. In some cases, illicit actors provide protection or even economic and social benefits to the populations under their control, which further undermines and erodes State legitimacy and reduces the prospect of good governance.
50. In developing countries, the paucity of licit employment opportunities may be one of several reasons why individuals join criminal or terrorist groups and potentially perpetuates insecurity. Furthermore, millions may come to depend on the illicit economy for satisfying their basic needs and may oppose or quietly resist initiatives to fight crime.
51. The international community, including the United Nations, should not only focus on the direct assault on international peace and security by the new generation of terrorist groups, but should also address the strategic mid- to long-term consequences of terrorists benefiting from organized crime, as they also threaten the legitimacy and sovereignty of all States.
III. Efforts of United Nations entities to address the threat of terrorists benefiting from transnational organized crime
52. The wide range of efforts undertaken by the agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system to support Member States in preventing terrorists from benefiting from transnational organized crime at the national, regional and global levels is impossible to present in full in the present report. An overview of activities that the United Nations is currently undertaking in some important areas is provided in the annex.
53. At the national level, the United Nations supports several Member States in their efforts to build capacity and facilitate technical assistance to counteract the benefits that terrorist groups gain from partnering with transnational organized criminal groups.
54. At the regional level, United Nations offices bring together the efforts of multiple agencies, funds and programmes to address such threats. For example, drawing from expertise within the Secretariat, the United Nations supports the Member States of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa in their efforts to develop a regional integrated strategy on counter-terrorism and the non-proliferation of small arms and light weapons. The proposed strategy will enhance coordination within the region to counteract terrorism and transnational organized crime and will serve as a confidence-building measure between and within the Member States.
55. At the global level, the United Nations shapes norms and instruments to mitigate the effects of terrorism and transnational organized crime, while also developing global projects, such as an upcoming series of workshops to build the capacity of Member States to prevent kidnapping for ransom and train human rights-compliant law enforcement.
56. The work of the United Nations in that regard covers many relevant issues, such as border security; good governance; anti-money-laundering and preventing the financing of terrorism; the protection of vulnerable communities; maritime security; humanitarian assistance; the promotion and protection of human rights; and the combat against human, arms and drug trafficking. The need for strict observance of human rights and the rule of law is an overarching principle of all such efforts.
57. The United Nations partners with many other entities, including regional organizations, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the Financial Action Task Force, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, research institutes and universities. The Organization makes every effort to achieve the equal and effective participation of women, young people and civil society organizations in its capacity-building and outreach work.
IV. Recommendations for strengthening the capabilities of Member States
58. The present section contains a set of recommendations that takes into consideration the links between terrorism and transnational organized crime described in section II and the current activities of the United Nations described in section III and in the annex. Recommendations on strengthening the capabilities of Member States at the political and strategic, legal and criminal justice, and law enforcement and operational levels are set out in paragraphs 59 to 88. The strategic options for the United Nations to support Member States in addressing the threat of terrorists benefiting from organized crime are covered, and a number of related capacity-building and technical assistance initiatives are proposed in paragraphs 89 to 94. Suggestions on how to mobilize existing and new resources to implement the recommendations are provided.
A. Member States and international cooperation
1. Political and strategic level
Strengthening State institutions, the rule of law and human rights
59. As stated in paragraphs 45 to 51 above, terrorists benefiting from organized crime can undermine State legitimacy (understood as both the trust in the State and the State's ability to protect and comply with the rule of law), which, in turn, can affect international peace and security. Where actual government structures are eroded or absent, illicit actors may also offer protection and even economic or social benefits to the local population to win over support. State legitimacy is also undermined when Governments fail to protect human rights or violate them when trying to counteract terrorism and organized crime, and when they disregard the rule of law and create an environment prone to corruption and impunity.
60. To address the above issues, comprehensive strategies to reinforce the legitimacy and effectiveness of the State to deal with the nexus between organized crime and terrorism need to be adopted and implemented faithfully and in accordance with international human rights standards, the rule of law and good governance principles. The ability of a system to cope, adapt and respond to the challenges of, or its resilience to, organized crime and terrorism can be enhanced by developing and implementing strong transparency and anti-corruption mechanisms and effective measures for the protection of human rights; improving policies and laws to respond to new alliances between terrorists and criminals and new emerging technologies; ensuring an independent and well-functioning judicial system; creating and strengthening national systems to promote and protect the rights of victims of terrorism; and putting in place autonomous financial intelligence units.
61. Building social resilience to terrorism and crime entails an all-of-society approach. All relevant actors, including women and young people, community organizations, religious and other civic leaders, financial institutions, the private sector and educators at all levels, need to be involved in designing comprehensive solutions to build the State's capabilities and enhance its legitimacy in the eyes of local communities. Law enforcement and the military are too often seen as the only actors. This must change. The empowerment of local communities to support prevention and build educational and social institutions is critical.
Addressing conditions conducive to terrorism and criminality
62. A comprehensive approach that addresses and reduces the appeal of terrorism and criminal activity is essential. States facing the challenge of terrorism need to devote resources and develop strategic policy responses to win over the allegiance of their citizens and promote opportunities for social and economic development. To that end, individuals and communities need to be economically, politically and socially empowered. Education, development, political and social inclusivity, crime and terrorism are all interconnected.
63. Important challenges that fuel violence and economic and social grievances, especially among young people and vulnerable groups, remain, including the lack of respect for human rights and the rule of law; deficient or corrupt governance and judicial institutions; a climate of impunity; ethnic, national, religious and other forms of discrimination or marginalization; political and social exclusion; lack of access to education and employment; and readily available weapons and drugs.
64. The international community needs to continue to support the efforts of Member States to address the challenges, for example, through comprehensive initiatives, such as the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, and a plan of action on preventing violent extremism, which I intend to present to the General Assembly later in 2015.
65. The experience of the United Nations with community violence reduction represents an example of local efforts that can prevent recruitment into armed terrorist and criminal movements. An increased focus on assistance by the United Nations to promote community-oriented policing activities, particularly targeting young people and populations living in border areas, may yield significant gains.
Addressing conflict prevention and resolution
66. The combined presence of terrorism and transnational organized crime can exacerbate conflicts. Terrorist groups benefiting from transnational organized crime may complicate conflict prevention and resolution efforts. They can increase the risk of conflict relapse and the cross-border spillover and regionalization of intra-State conflicts, and spread human rights abuses and provoke humanitarian crises.
67. The international community, including the United Nations, should mitigate such risks by strengthening the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, particularly pillar I, on measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. The mechanisms for the pacific settlement of disputes provided for in the Charter of the United Nations must be given the space to succeed and must receive the requisite support from the international community. Conflict prevention strategies, conflict analysis, mediation efforts (including possible engagement with groups that may play a "spoiler role"), integrated mission assessments and planning and peacebuilding support mechanisms need to work against collusion between terrorism and organized crime.
68. When conflicts end, those who took direct part in the fighting may have special livelihood, economic and psychosocial needs that ought to be considered if communities and countries want to rebuild quickly and effectively. If those needs are not addressed, the prospect of political stability and sustainable peace and development could be compromised. Further efforts should therefore be devoted to providing technical assistance on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.
69. The international community needs to promote the empowerment, participation and leadership of women in countering terrorism and organized crime by recognizing their potential as partners in prevention and as entry points for engagement. The Council, especially through its resolutions 2122 (2013) and 2129 (2013), has increasingly recognized the need to situate counter-terrorism responses more firmly within a framework that includes women, peace and security.
70. Although women are powerful preventers of terrorism and crime, they can also be sympathizers, mobilizers and perpetrators of such activities for many of the same reasons that attract men. Our efforts must be informed by a more nuanced understanding of the grievances and pathways that move women towards terrorism and organized crime, must support the dynamics that strengthen their resilience against such activities, and should be redoubled through gender-sensitive assistance and capacity-building programming.
71. Women's rights can be affected both by terrorist groups and the strategies used to combat such groups. There is a need to invest in well-designed research and data collection on the roles of women in terrorism and organized crime, the participation of women in counter-terrorism strategies and the impacts of the strategies on their lives in order to develop effective and sustainable responses.
Strengthening international and regional cooperation
72. The international community needs to work collectively to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms, including the benefits gained by terrorists from transnational organized crime. Strategic and operational responses are still predominantly carried out at the national level, however, and thus are limited when compared with the regional or even global approach used by terrorists and transnational criminal groups.
73. The United Nations can play a valuable role in facilitating regional cooperation. Valuable regional mechanisms in Africa that need further support from the international community include the Sahel Fusion and Liaison Unit; the Nouakchott Process on the enhancement of security cooperation and the operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture in the Sahelo -Saharan Region; the Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit of the Lake Chad Basin Commission Multinational Joint Task Force, which was created to fight Boko Haram; the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the UNODC Platform of Penal Judicial Cooperation of the Sahel Countries, which is aimed at strengthening judicial cooperation in criminal matters among Member States.
74. Of particular importance in that context is the development of regional counter-terrorism strategies, such as those developed for the Central Asia and the Central and Southern Africa regions with the support of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, and the ECOWAS Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Implementation Plan to fight terrorism and related criminal acts in West Africa. Those strategies, which should be replicated in other regions, require resources for implementation.
2. Legal and criminal justice level
Ratifying and implementing international legal instruments
75. The strengthening of the universal legal frameworks against terrorism and organized crime has been one of the main building blocks of the international community's strategy to combat terrorism, since it has helped to establish common priorities and benchmarks, has harmonized criminal justice systems and has fostered international cooperation. The United Nations, through all its relevant entities, supports Member States in ratifying and implementing all relevant international conventions, including the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the three supplementary Protocols thereto, the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty and the 19 international counter-terrorism conventions and protocols. The ratification and implementation of all international human rights treaties and treaties dedicated to the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict and to the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property are also key components of any multidimensional and effective strategy to address both terrorism and organized crime.
76. In order to combat the financing of terrorism from the proceeds of transnational organized crime, States should implement relevant international and regional instruments, including recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force, into national legislation.
77. Implementation within countries of the international legal frameworks to combat organized crime and terrorism is a crucial step towards limitation and ultimately prevention. It will help Member States to respond appropriately to threats through stronger law enforcement and criminal justice systems, and through enhanced regional and international cooperation, including extradition and mutual legal assistance, in accordance with international law.
3. Law enforcement and operational level
Strengthening human rights-compliant law enforcement and intelligence cooperation
78. The strengthening of law enforcement responses to prevent terrorists from benefiting from organized crime, and swiftly adapting such responses to the evolving and multidimensional nature of terrorism, is fundamental. Recommendations include enhanced criminal intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination; the development of crime tracking systems, including crime trend analysis and threat assessments; and strategic intelligence analysis to improve the targeting of interdictions. Such measures must be consistent with international human rights law and standards, including the right to privacy and to freedom of expression, opinion and assembly.
79. Collaboration among relevant law enforcement structures and between such structures and the criminal justice system should also be promoted to help them to respond faster and more effectively -- through, for example, the use of intelligence as admissible evidence in court -- to cases of terrorism and transnational organized crime. Inter-agency units could be put in place, and integrated national and regional capacity-building programmes on terrorism and organized crime could be developed with the support of the United Nations. Public-private partnerships that promote local and community policing would also be useful for preventing and responding to threats and for helping to build local resilience. It is also important actively to include women as part of counter-terrorism prevention and response frameworks, such as by increasing the number of women working in law enforcement.
80. Regional cooperation plays a crucial role in strengthening law enforcement and intelligence mechanisms appropriately. The ratification and implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the supplementary Protocols thereto should be strongly encouraged, as they can serve as a legal basis to facilitate the regional exchange of criminal and financial intelligence. Relevant regional mechanisms should also be strengthened. Valuable ongoing initiatives include the West Africa Coast Initiative, the joint initiative of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate to establish a counter-terrorism and transnational organized crime coordinating mechanism in six States in the Sahel region, the ECOWAS regional action plan to address the growing problem of illicit drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa and the West African Police Information System.
Disrupting criminal networks: incentives and disincentives
81. When designing strategies and policies with the aim of preventing terrorists from benefiting from organized crime, Governments should consider economic factors by focusing on incentives and disincentives that disrupt criminal networks. United Nations sanctions regimes, especially that pursuant to Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), are effective disincentives, as they target not only terrorist leaders but also facilitators of criminal activities that benefit terrorists. Governments should further consider sanctions regimes as tools to disrupt criminal networks, ensure they are sufficiently targeted, necessary, effective and proportionate and integrate in their design and implementation requirements to minimize potential adverse consequences on legitimate actors, including appropriate exemptions for humanitarian action.
Border control initiatives at the national and regional levels
82. It is critical that Member States have the means to prevent the cross -border movement of terrorists and their assets, in accordance with applicable international law, including Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 2178 (2014). To that end, the adoption of sound immigration and customs laws, the development of effective border controls and the strengthening of border management systems are crucial. Member States should also minimize the negative impact on humanitarian action that the adoption of some of the measures may entail.
83. Regional coordination, particularly in the Sahel and the Maghreb, becomes all the more essential. Inclusive and effective strategies need to be developed to combat the activities of terrorist groups in a comprehensive and integrated manner, prevent their expansion and limit their access to arms and transnational organized criminal networks. The establishment of the African Police Cooperation Organization and the elaboration of an African arrest warrant for terrorists is a positive example, as are the technical assistance and capacity-building efforts of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Working Group on Border Management relating to Counter-Terrorism and the planned initiative of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre and the Global Counterterrorism Forum on border security.
84. In order to strengthen migration and border management, the international community, including the United Nations, should support initiatives such as the adoption or reform of the legislative and procedural frameworks related to immigration and border management to respond to current threats, taking into account the balance between international human rights and refugee protection standards and legitimate national security concerns; the promotion of an integrated border management approach through the creation of national inter-agency units; the establishment of border control officials networks; the development of transnational crime and counter-terrorism (intelligence, law enforcement and prosecution) units at borders and of a network of such units; the implementation of risk analysis methodologies; the delivery of specialized capacity-building assistance, including at the regional level; the installation or upgrade of border management equipment, technology and software; and the improvement of border post infrastructure.
Terrorism financing and money-laundering
85. In order to prevent the proceeds of organized crime from being used to fund terrorism, States should develop strong legal, regulatory and supervisory frameworks in accordance with international law and standards. They should also further develop their analytical and investigative capacities to address licit and illicit sources of terrorism financing, track terrorist financing schemes in formal and informal financial systems, and address the physical and electronic methods of transmitting funds. Particular attention should be given to new forms of trade -based money-laundering, the abuse of non-profit organizations to finance terrorist activities, the use of new technologies (financial products and payment methods), and the physical cross-border transportation of currency and bearer negotiable instruments.
86. The international community should further support the efforts undertaken by the United Nations and specialized international and regional organizations, such as the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Working Group on Tackling the Financing of Terrorism and the Financial Action Task Force, to assist States in strengthening or putting in place appropriate legal, investigative (through financial intelligence units), regulatory and oversight mechanisms.
87. It is equally important to ensure that the humanitarian perspective is included in the deliberations of leading entities on financial transactions, including the Financial Action Task Force.
B. United Nations support to Member States
1. Strengthening the response of the United Nations: a strategic approach
88. Although the United Nations has responded to the threats of terrorism and organized crime, there is room for enhancement. The response of the Organization needs to be more systematic, comprehensive and multidimensional, especially at the field level, where United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political missions are already confronting those challenges. In order to tailor strategic responses to terrorism and organized crime appropriately, relevant United Nations entities must also strengthen their research and analytical work on the nexus between organized crime and terrorism. Such efforts should be paired with relevant assistance to Member States to develop effective strategic communications initiatives that focus on raising awareness on the negative impact of local terrorist and criminal activities.
2. Capacity-building and technical assistance to Member States
89. The United Nations should continue to play a leading role in providing support to strengthen the capability of Member States to reduce the negative impact of terrorists benefiting from transnational organized crime, including by promoting awareness and engagement of Member States at the highest political levels. Addressing the linkages between terrorism and transnational organized crime should be a strategic priority for the international community, as international terrorists and criminals undermine international peace, security and human rights and affect political stability and socioeconomic development.
90. The United Nations could strengthen existing initiatives or develop a number of new priority projects and activities at the national, regional and global levels in line with the recommendations described above. The following ongoing initiatives could be strengthened by United Nations entities:
(a) Further promote a comprehensive and balanced implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, including by expanding the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Integrated Assistance for Counter-Terrorism initiative to the countries of the Group of Five for the Sahel and of Central Africa, among others;
(b) Further develop capacity-building and technical assistance programmes to:
(i) Assist Member States in fully ratifying and implementing the relevant international legal instruments and international standards against terrorism and organized crime, and in developing their capacities to effectively respond to, prevent, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate on terrorist acts;
(ii) Support Member States in developing their investigative and prosecutorial capacities to address crimes such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, trafficking in cultural property, arms trafficking and illegal exploitation and trafficking of natural resources;
(iii) Support Member States in strengthening the capacity of national legislators and judicial, law enforcement and relevant government officials to enhance their understanding, knowledge and implementation of the applicable international human rights, humanitarian and refugee protection standards and ensure the consistent application of legislation and policies;
(iv) Strengthen national investigative and prosecutorial capability to disrupt financial flows that support terrorism, to be implemented by entities such as the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force working groups on tackling the financing of terrorism and on the legal and criminal justice responses to terrorism and the Financial Action Task Force;
(c) Further strengthen law enforcement cooperation in regions and countries facing the challenge of terrorism, including by supporting UNODC programmes aimed at building and sustaining effective regional law enforcement networks, and by the technical support and collaboration initiatives of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa and the United Nations Office for West Africa, working with regional organizations, to address the threat of Boko Haram;
(d) Further strengthen border controls and the investigative capacities of national law enforcement agencies, including through capacity-building assistance provided by entities of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, such as UNODC, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, and with special attention given to smuggling routes in the Sahel-Sahara region, North Africa and the Middle East;
(e) Further support programmes on counteracting the trafficking of cultural property and enhancing restitutions, such as those implemented by UNESCO and its partners, including UNODC, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization, in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic.
91. The following new initiatives could be implemented by relevant United Nations entities:
(a) Develop research and analytical work on the nexus between terrorism and organized crime;
(b) Relevant United Nations entities with a field presence, especially peacekeeping operations and special political missions as relevant, should increase their understanding of the new security threats and the political and economic connections between terrorists and organized crime, through specialized human and financial resources;
(c) Develop capacity-building, technical assistance and research programmes to support Member States in promoting the empowerment, participation and leadership of women in counteracting terrorism and organized crime, including by increasing the number of women working in the security sector at all levels and recognizing the potential of women as partners in prevention and as entry points for engagement;
(d) Develop a programme involving the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and Security Council sanctions committees and panels of experts to analyse the profiles of illicit arms and ammunition found in areas in which terrorist groups operate and to identify arms control measures to contribute to the monitoring and enforcing of arms embargoes, particularly those imposed under United Nations sanctions regimes.
92. Since the threat of terrorists benefiting from transnational organized crime increasingly affects international peace and security, Member States and the United Nations will need to step up efforts at the national, regional and global levels. Member States most severely affected by the threat will need resources to develop their preventive and responsive capacities. At the same time, multilateral initiatives to support efforts will need to be resourced, which will in turn require careful consideration of the threat and its consequences by relevant United Nations bodies, especially the General Assembly and the Security Council.
93. In addition to existing resources within the United Nations system, funds could be raised through specific project proposals that interested Member States could finance. Other voluntary contributions could also support existing mechanisms, such as the Trust Fund for Global and Regional Disarmament Activities, which is administered by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, or could support existing capacity-building providers, such as the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, through co-funding arrangements.
94. New funding mechanisms could also be explored. For example, some Member States and regions have successfully developed multi-agency mechanisms to identify, recover and remove the proceeds of large-scale organized criminal activity. Once identified, investigation and litigation efforts lead to the confiscation and integration of the proceeds in ad hoc government accounts or funds. The funds are then used to benefit the community through crime prevention, compensation and other relevant law enforcement initiatives. Member States that have such mechanisms in place could consider contributing a designated proportion of the funds to a United Nations trust fund on terrorism and organized crime, which could then finance initiatives and projects to support other Member States in addressing the threat from terrorism and organized crime. The trust fund could also serve as a compensation mechanism for victims of terrorism, in line with Security Council resolution 1566 (2004).
United Nations activities to reduce the negative impacts of terrorists benefiting from transnational organized crime
Number Entity/project/activity Status of implementation Main activities Geographical scope 1 Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Working Group on Border Management relating to Counter-Terrorism: coordinated border management Ongoing The Working Group, which is led by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, is implementing its three-phase project on coordinated border management, which includes the production of a compendium of legal instruments, standards and recommended practices relating to effective border control, and the development of templates or models on coordinated border management. Global 2 Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Working Group on Promoting and Protecting Human Rights and the Rule of Law while Countering Terrorism: human rights training for law enforcement officials Ongoing The Working Group, which is co-chaired by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Rule of Law Unit within the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, is implementing a project on human rights and counter-terrorism that seeks to strengthen the capacity of national law enforcement and security officials by enhancing their understanding, knowledge and implementation of international human rights standards when undertaking counter-terrorism actions, and is designed around seven core thematic modules that range from investigation to pretrial issues. Global 3 Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011): reporting Ongoing The Monitoring Team has addressed the issue of links between terrorism and transnational organized crime in many of its reports submitted to the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1988 (2011). It has submitted a report to the latter (S/2015/79) on specific cases of cooperation between organized crime syndicates and individuals, groups, undertakings and entities eligible for listing under paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 2160 (2014). Global 4 Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate: assessment of the counter-terrorism capacities of Member States and facilitation of relevant technical assistance Ongoing The Executive Directorate, on behalf of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, conducts country visits aimed at assessing the capacities of Member States to implement resolution 1373 (2001), which addresses the close connection between international terrorism and transnational organized crime. The focus of the visits and of the ensuing facilitation of technical assistance and capacity -building is on supporting the efforts of Member States to deal with this challenge. Global 5 Counter-Terrorism Completed Committee Executive Directorate: typologies of crimes Completed The Executive Directorate monitored and studied typologies of crimes from which the proceeds fund terrorism, and reported to the Counter-Terrorism Committee on the methodologies. It held open briefings on particular methodologies, including the use of new payment methods and the abuse of charities and non-profit organizations by criminal networks. Global 6 Counter-Terrorism Ongoing Committee Executive Directorate: cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force Ongoing The Executive Directorate works closely with the Task Force on setting standards and evaluating efforts by States to combat money-laundering and terrorist financing. Global 7 Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force: initiative on links between transnational organized criminal activities in abuse of charities and non-profit organizations for the purposes of funding terrorism Completed A three-year initiative to raise awareness on such links, which involved more than 60 States and 80 non-profit organizations. A series of workshops was organized, including one with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in October 2014. Global 8 Counter-Terrorism Ongoing Committee Executive Directorate: high-level visits to Mali, the Niger and Cameroon Ongoing In February 2015, the Committee and its Executive Directorate conducted a joint high-level visit to Mali and the Niger to reaffirm the Committee's continued support for the counter-terrorism activities of States of the Sahel region and to promote regional cooperation. In March 2015, the Executive Directorate conducted a country visit to Cameroon to assess the counter-terrorism framework and measures in place to fight terrorism effectively, and identified technical assistance needs in that regard. Possible priority areas for capacity-building were discussed with the relevant authorities, including with regard to addressing the links between terrorism and transnational organized crime. Both entities followed up on the visit by engaging in further dialogue with representatives of all Member States of the Group of Five for the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and the Niger), and by working to finalize the recommendations and proposals for technical assistance activities (as at 12 March 2015). Sahel 9 Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate: links between terrorism and organized crime in South-Eastern Europe and Central Asia Completed In 2013, the Executive Directorate facilitated a workshop in Antalya, Turkey, on the links between terrorism and organized crime in South-Eastern Europe Eastern and Central Asia with representatives of regional law enforcement agencies and prosecution services; international, regional and subregional organizations; and observer and partner States; civil society organizations; the private sector; and several Central Asian States. South-Eastern Europe and Central Asia 10 Department of Peacekeeping Operations: police, justice and corrections Permanent The police, justice and corrections components in peacekeeping operations Global include the investigation, prosecution and detention of individuals involved in terrorist activities and/or transnational organized crime. The Department provides assistance in building inclusive and sustainable institutions for the rule of law, which can mitigate real or perceived sociopolitical injustice and isolation, which are often root causes of terrorism and transnational organized crime. In Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia and Mali, for example, United Nations police, justice and corrections officers continue to work with specialized institutions in the host States to counteract transnational organized crime. Global 11 Department of Peacekeeping Operations: disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and community violence reduction programmes Permanent The Department addresses the threat of terrorist groups/organizations that benefit Global from transnational organized crime through its disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, for example, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and community violence reduction programmes for example, in Mali, in which programmes are being put in place to address recruitment into the armed movements present in the country, including those allied to Al-Qaida. Global 12 Department of Peacekeeping Operations: United Nations police assistance Permanent Approximately 12,500 United Nations police officers assist Member States in Global addressing the full spectrum of public safety issues in 13 peacekeeping operations led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and five special political missions led by the Department of Political Affairs. They work closely with the population in the host State to implement community-oriented policing, giving special attention to women and vulnerable communities. Community outreach activities are organized in order to build trust in the police and other law enforcement agencies and strengthen community resilience against terrorist, criminal and extremist groups. Global 13 Department of Peacekeeping Operations: law enforcement capacity-building and technical assistance Completed The United Nations Mission in Liberia, working with the United Nations Liberia Office for West Africa, has supported the West Africa Coast Initiative to strengthen the multi-agency Transnational Crime Unit. It has also enhanced the capacity of the Liberia National Police to address transnational organized crime through the attachment to the Unit of special advisors. Training and capacity-building of the police and immigration services in the area of investigations are undertaken by United Nations police, particularly with regard to the use of forensic science. Liberia 14 Department of Peacekeeping Completed Operations: United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali task force on counter-terrorism and organized crime Completed The task force was established to provide recommendations on the delivery of a common and comprehensive strategy to support the Government of Mali in counter-terrorism and in combating organized crime. Mali 15 Department of Peacekeeping Operations: training of Malian security forces Completed United Nations police are delivering training to Malian security forces, including a training course on small-arms trafficking and terrorism in February 2015. Six projects have been implemented in support of the refurbishment of Malian units dealing with organized crime and counter-terrorism. Mali 16 Department of Peacekeeping Operations: ideological rehabilitation pilot project for high-risk prisoners Under development The Department is currently devising the project, which focuses on building national capacity to prevent and combat the spread of violent extremist ideology among prison populations. Somalia 17 International Maritime Permanent Organization (IMO): guidance on measures to prevent drug smuggling and other illicit activities Permanent IMO has issued guidance on measures to prevent drug smuggling and other illicit activities and guidance on the use of armed security personnel on board ships, which is consistent with the maritime security measures detailed in the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code and related Guide to Maritime Security. Global 18 IMO: global technical Permanent cooperation programme Permanent IMO has developed and implemented a comprehensive global technical cooperation programme focusing on assisting States in the implementation, verification, compliance with, and enforcement of, the provisions of chapter XI-2 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code relating to counter-piracy and of the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation and the 2005 Protocol thereto, as well as long-range identification and tracking of ships for enhanced maritime situation awareness. IMO also collaborates with a number of United Nations entities, such as the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, and international and regional partners in the delivery of technical cooperation projects for maritime and border security Global 19 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: "toolkit" to guide humanitarian organizations and strengthen principled approaches to counter-terrorism measures Under development The Office recognizes its leadership role in ensuring that aid diversion is minimized in a more consistent and principled manner, including through dialogue, advocacy and engagement with State and non-State parties to conflict and other concerned States. To that end, the Office is participating in efforts led by the Norwegian Refugee Council to develop a "toolkit" to guide humanitarian organizations and strengthen principled approaches to counter-terrorism measures, including by improving anti-diversion, risk management and due diligence practices. Global 20 United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA): support to the work of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1988 (2011) Ongoing UNAMA provides support to the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team during its visits to Afghanistan. It facilitates fact-finding meetings with relevant Afghan and international interlocutors and accompanies the Monitoring Team to such meetings. It translates the sanctions list of the Committee into Dari and Pashto. Afghanistan 21 UNAMA: support to regional cooperation and national authorities in Afghanistan Ongoing UNAMA actively supports the Istanbul Process on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan, including its counter -terrorism and counter-narcotics confidence-building measures, which aim to enhance regional cooperation in fighting regional and transnational terrorism and narcotics production and trafficking. UNAMA has engaged with relevant government authorities to facilitate progress in preventing the illegal exploitation of natural resources, among other relevant issues. Afghanistan 22 United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Permanent UNAMI maintains its political, development and humanitarian presence in Iraq and plays an active role in supporting national political processes, among other functions. It works to contain the reach of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant by encouraging all communities to participate in a peaceful and inclusive political process that provides services to Iraqi citizens. Its activities include establishing channels for dialogue with armed groups from disaffected communities, and regular reporting on human rights violations and its efforts to build the capacity of Iraqi institutions to address terrorism and crime. Iraq 23 United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre: capacity -building against kidnapping for ransom Ongoing The Centre is organizing eight capacity-building workshops to raise awareness on kidnapping for ransom and enhance its prevention, with a particular focus on existing international good practices among national counter-terrorism agencies and law enforcement bodies, regulated and semi-regulated national financial institutions, and non-governmental organizations, and to share information with, and facilitate its exchange between, the relevant actors. Global 24 United Nations Counter- Ongoing Terrorism Centre and Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate: information sharing to counteract terrorism and organized crime Ongoing Both entities are engaged in efforts to strengthen the counter-terrorism and transnational organized crime coordination and information-sharing capacities of countries in the Sahel region, as well as an initiative to establish informal networks of customs, police and security officials in the Sahel to address transborder security and crime issues. Global, Sahel 25 United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre: border security and management initiative Ongoing The initiative will help to build the capacity of border management officials. Global, wider Sahel region 26 United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre: development of regional counter-terrorism strategies Ongoing The Centre provides support for the development of regional counter-terrorism strategies. Central Africa and Southern Africa regions 27 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC): fight against the illicit traffic of cultural heritage Ongoing UNESCO cooperates closely with UNODC, INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, the Security Management Team, the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property and non-governmental organizations, such as the International Council on Monuments and Sites, the International Council of Museums, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and the International Council on Archives to further improve coordination between that network of partners and to promote activities aimed at combating the illicit traffic of cultural heritage at the international level, as well as at the local level through regional entities, such as the European Union, and national services. Global 28 UNESCO: support to the implementation of Security Council resolution 2199 (2015) and other relevant actions Ongoing In order to strengthen coordination mechanisms between UNESCO and its partners, and to map out the effective implementation of resolution 2199 (2015), the Director General of UNESCO organized a restricted high-level meeting in Paris on 1 April 2015. With the involvement of the coordinator of the Security Management Team and representatives of INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, UNODC, the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, the International Council of Museums, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and the International Council on Archives, a timeline and road map were agreed for partners to undertake relevant actions (for example, the establishment of a network of focal points to facilitate information exchange and expedite the response in emergency situations). A set of proposed guidelines for States to take effective national measures for the implementation of resolution 2199 (2015) was also discussed. In addition, the UNESCO Executive Board at its 196th session adopted decision 196 EX/29 in order to enhance its role and responsibility for culture in conflict areas. The decision follows up decision 195 EX/31, adopted by the Executive Board at its 195th session, on the protection of Iraqi heritage. Global 29 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): establishment of protection-sensitive entry systems Permanent In the exercise of its mandated function of providing international protection and seeking solutions for refugees, UNHCR works very closely with Governments to promote protection-sensitive entry systems as part of broader migration management policies and practices. A range of activities in the field, including the provision of training, technical assistance and capacity -building to border guards and immigration and related officials, generate greater clarity in the management of irregular arrivals and facilitate an individualized and timely response for those who may constitute a security risk, as well as persons undeserving of international protection because of their involvement in certain serious crimes or heinous acts. These activities help to maintain the integrity of national asylum systems in a manner that contributes positively to the overall security environment. Global 30 United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute: counterfeiting: combating organized crime and the illicit proceeds of crime Ongoing Starting in 2007 with the publication of its report "Counterfeiting: a global spread, a global threat", the Institute has developed a comprehensive applied research programme on the issue of counterfeiting as a critical activity of transnational organized crime that threatens consumers' health and safety, funds other criminal and terrorist activities and has an adverse impact on society as a whole. Pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 2012/19, the Institute has continued its research and technical assistance efforts in this sector, identifying strategies aimed at combating organized crime more effectively and providing tailored technical assistance activities in support of the response of Member States to counterfeiting. Global 31 United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute: counteracting the involvement of organized criminal groups in cybercrime Ongoing In 2014, the Institute, jointly with other international organizations and Member States, contributed extensively to the COURAGE (cybercrime and cyberterrorism European research agenda) project. A comprehensive research agenda for cybercrime and cyberterrorism is being developed. The Institute conducted research on the involvement of organized crime in cybercrime and raised awareness on hacker profiling and organized crime in multiple conferences and workshops worldwide. It worked with different partners in the organization of training seminars and informed policymakers and practitioners on terrorists' use of the Internet. Global 32 United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute: linkages between trafficking of precious metals and transnational organized crime Ongoing In its resolution 2013/38, the Economic and Social Council invited the Institute, with the support of UNODC, to conduct a comprehensive study on the links between transnational organized crime and illicit trafficking in precious metals. The Institute has designed a programme aimed at counteracting illicit trafficking in precious metals and the potential funding of organized crime and terrorism through the proceeds of such trafficking. A comprehensive study on the links between transnational organized crime, other criminal activities and illicit trafficking in precious metals will be conducted with the financial support of the Government of South Africa and presented to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in 2016. The Institute is undertaking a related study on the feasibility of establishing a mechanism for the traceability and certification of origin of coloured gemstones that addresses the involvement of organized criminal groups in the supply chain. Global 33 United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute: nexus between organized crime, international terrorism and development Under development In response to requests from Member States on guidance on how to address the issues related to the increasing connections between organized crime, terrorism and development, the Institute will convene a two -day meeting in 2015 with the objective of better understanding the threat posed by the connections. The consultation is expected to explore how best to assist Member States in addressing the threat and its impact on development, security and peace. Global 34 United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute: mitigating the risks posed by trafficking in, and criminal use of, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials Ongoing The Institute, jointly with the European Commission and its Joint Research Centre, is currently implementing a project for the establishment of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear centres of excellence, the objective of which is to facilitate regional cooperation and enhance chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear policies and capabilities by creating a network of regional initiatives that promote and support the development and implementation of related national policies. The initiative covers 48 countries and eight regions currently. The Institute is supporting Governments in their development of national chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear action plans, which serve as strategic documents to identify priorities for capacity -building and coordination between competent authorities at the national level. In that context, Member States, in partnership with the Institute, have organized high-level events in New York, The Hague and Geneva. Global 35 United Nations Office to the African Union Ongoing The Office supported the African Union in the preparations for an experts' planning meeting in Yaounde from 5 to 7 February 2015 and a follow-up meeting in N'Djamena from 23 to 27 February 2015. During the meetings, it provided support to the African Union in the finalization of the concept of operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force, including the mission support plan and rules of engagement. On 3 March, it participated in the open meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council, in which the documents prepared in Yaounde and N'Djamena were endorsed. The Office has also urged partners and Member States to provide bilateral support for troops currently engaged in combat operations against Boko Haram. Africa 36 United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) and United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre: integrated strategy on counter-terrorism and the non-proliferation of small arms and light weapons for Central Africa Ongoing At its thirty-third ministerial meeting, held in Bangui in December 2011, Member States of the Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa agreed to develop an integrated strategy on counter-terrorism and small arms and light weapons control for Central Africa. To support the process, UNOCA, in partnership with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, organized workshops on police and intelligence, on customs, immigration, border control and small arms and light weapons, and on violent extremism and human rights. Two more workshops, on justice and on terrorism financing, will be held in 2015, with the integrated strategy to be submitted to the Standing Advisory Committee at its forty-first ministerial meeting, to be held before the end of 2015. Central Africa 37 UNOCA and United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA): maritime security Completed The Department of Political Affairs, through UNOCA and UNOWA, supported the Economic Community of Central African States, the Economic Community of West African States and the Commission of the Gulf of Guinea for the organization of the Summit of Heads of State and Government on Maritime Safety and Security in the Gulf of Guinea, held in Yaounde in June 2013. Both offices also assisted with the development of a comprehensive regional anti-piracy strategy in response to the emerging threat to maritime security. Central Africa 38 UNOCA: poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking Under development The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) is currently developing an emergency anti-poaching action plan, and the Security Council has encouraged UNOCA to support ECCAS efforts. Central Africa 39 UNOCA and UNOWA: the Boko Haram threat Completed In response to the expansion of Boko Haram's activities into the Lake Chad Basin region, in particular Cameroon, Chad and the Niger, the Department of Political Affairs, through UNOCA and UNOWA, provided support to regional efforts to strengthen bilateral, subregional and international cooperation to address the threat of terrorism and transborder illicit activity. This was done, for instance, through a joint mission in October 2014 to Cameroon and Chad to assess the impact of Boko Haram in the two countries, and to explore ways in which the United Nations could support the affected Governments and relevant subregional organizations in addressing the threat posed by the group. From 12 to 18 April 2015, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Africa and Head of UNOCA, Abdoulaye Bathily, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and Head of UNOWA, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, undertook a joint diplomatic tour of Lake Chad Basin countries to assess the impact of Boko Haram on the region and discuss joint follow-up activities. Central Africa 40 United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs: small arms and light weapons Permanent The Office, including its three regional centres, has undertaken capacity-building projects upon request to assist Member States in various regions in combating illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons. The projects cover national legislation, weapons marking, record-keeping, tracing, physical security of stockpiles, collection and destruction, and border control. In carrying out these assistance activities, the Office promoted the application of the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines, developed under the mandate of the General Assembly, and the International Small Arms Control Standards, developed by the United Nations within the framework of the Coordinating Action on Small Arms mechanism. Global 41 United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs: support for implementation of Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) Permanent As an integral part of its overall mandate, the Office and its three regional centres in Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean support the implementation of the key requirements of resolution 1540 (2004) and activities of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) and its Group of Experts. The Office focused on facilitating national implementation activities; enhancing cooperation between international, regional and subregional organizations; and building effective partnerships with key stakeholders, including civil society and industry. Global 42 UNODC: criminal justice responses to terrorism and organized crime Ongoing UNODC is the key United Nations office providing legal and capacity-building assistance to Member States that is aimed at strengthening their criminal justice responses to terrorism and organized crime. Global 43 UNODC: international cooperation in criminal matters Ongoing UNODC facilitates international cooperation between countries in criminal matters through its support in capacity-building and to networks. In West Africa, for example, UNODC continues to support the Platform of Penal Judicial Cooperation of the Sahel Countries, the Network of West African Central Authorities and Prosecutors against Organized Crime and the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network for West Africa, in addition to its cooperation with countries in other regions through regional judicial networks, such as Eurojust. Global 44 UNODC: border controls Ongoing UNODC supports Member States, including in the Middle East and North and West Africa, in strengthening national capacities to identify, investigate and intercept illicit movements of goods. It has targeted specific efforts for the control of border crossings inland, through the Global Container Control Programme; at sea, through the West Africa Coast Initiative and by supporting an initiative by the Indian Ocean Forum on Maritime Crime; and in airports, through the Airport Communication Programme. For example, UNODC has recently launched a regional border control initiative focusing on land border crossing points and key hub cities along smuggling routes in the Sahel-Sahara region, North Africa and the Middle East. In Nigeria, UNODC will commence a project on enhancing border control that focuses on the country's north-eastern borders with Cameroon, Chad and the Niger, which are most affected by the terrorist activities of Boko Haram. Global 45 UNODC: law enforcement Ongoing UNODC is supporting national law enforcement agencies in cooperating in intelligence-based investigations, and is promoting regional cooperation. It has put in place and is supporting several regional information-sharing platforms, such as the Criminal Information Centre to Combat Drugs of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre, and the joint planning cell in which Afghanistan, Iran (Islamic Republic of) and Pakistan participate. UNODC is assisting countries in several regions in developing regional networks and is promoting the "Networking the Networks" initiative, which is aimed at strengthening cooperation between regional and international law enforcement organizations. Global 46 UNODC and United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre: counteracting the financing of terrorism and anti-money-laundering Ongoing UNODC has been supporting Member States in strengthening the legal and technical aspects of counteracting the financing of terrorism and anti-money-laundering, including by providing training for capacity-building on issues such as cross-border cooperation for preventing and combating terrorism financing; freezing of assets; mutual legal assistance; investigation, prosecution and adjudication; and the links between the financing of terrorism, money-laundering and transnational organized crime. In 2014, UNODC and the Centre launched a two-year project that envisages the organization of mock trials on the financing of terrorism for criminal justice officials in Argentina and Colombia. Global 47 UNODC: counteracting the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms Ongoing UNODC assists Member States in their efforts to prevent and combat the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, through the ratification and effective implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the supplementary Protocol thereto against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition. UNODC combines preventive and control measures aimed at establishing comprehensive firearms control regimes and strengthening the capacities of Member States to address the growing links between illicit trafficking in firearms and other serious crimes, including organized crime and terrorism. Global 48 UNODC: foreign terrorist fighters Ongoing In response to the needs of Member States to strengthen their criminal justice response against foreign terrorist fighters, UNODC, in close coordination with the European Union, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law and donor countries, has developed a five -year technical assistance initiative for countries in the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans. Attention is being given to the possible links between foreign terrorist fighters and organized crime, in particular with regard to the smuggling of persons. Similar initiatives will be explored concerning the Sahel, West Africa and East Africa. Global 49 UNODC: use of the Internet for purposes of terrorism Ongoing UNODC has further strengthened its provision of capacity-building assistance to criminal justice officials in the investigation and prosecution of terrorists in cases involving the use of the Internet (financing, recruitment and training). It has also developed a technical assistance tool, in collaboration with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, to address the use of the Internet for the purposes of terrorism. The tool has been used extensively as part of the activities of UNODC. Global 50 UNODC: kidnapping for ransom Completed In 2014, UNODC published a revised edition of the United Nations Counter - Kidnapping Manual, which is aimed at assisting authorities to respond effectively to cases of kidnapping for ransom. Global 51 UNODC: anti-corruption Ongoing UNODC has continued to promote the ratification and implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Global 52 UNODC: research on crime Ongoing UNODC, in its research on transnational organized crime, has collected data on the role of non-State armed groups in illicit trafficking flows, including of cocaine and cannabis, of minerals and of children for the purpose of exploiting them as child soldiers. Global 53 UNOWA Permanent UNOWA, UNODC and partners are continuing capacity-building and assistance efforts to raise awareness of the threat to peace and stability posed by drug trafficking and organized crime in West Africa, including links to the threat of terrorism, particularly in the Sahel. West Africa 54 UNOWA: support to the West Africa Coast Initiative Ongoing Through a comprehensive approach, UNODC, in collaboration with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Department of Political Affairs, UNOWA and INTERPOL has developed the West Africa Coast Initiative to strengthen national law enforcement and intelligence-gathering capacities in Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Initiative works in synergy as a joint programme with the Economic Community of West African States regional action plan to address the growing problem of illicit drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa, including capacity-building at both the national and regional levels in the areas of law enforcement, forensics, border management, anti-money-laundering and the strengthening of criminal justice institutions. West Africa 55 UNOWA supporting UNODC: strengthening capacities in the West African region and enhancing the accessibility, efficiency and accountability of criminal justice systems Ongoing The UNODC flagship project, supported by UNOWA, is focusing on strengthening capacities in the West African region and enhancing the accessibility, efficiency and accountability of criminal justice systems in order to combat drug trafficking, illicit trafficking, transnational organized crime and terrorism effectively. West Africa 56 UNOWA: maritime security Ongoing UNOWA is supporting the leadership of the regional economic communities, the Commission of the Gulf of Guinea and States, in close cooperation with strategic partners, to develop joint initiatives on the regional maritime strategy to fight piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. UNOWA also supports the comprehensive Economic Community of West African States Integrated Maritime Strategy, which aims for a prosperous, safe and peaceful maritime domain. West Africa 57 UNOWA: support to regional counter-terrorism strategy for the Lake Chad Basin Commission Completed UNOWA collaborated with regional economic communities and the African Union in developing a regional counter-terrorism strategy for the Lake Chad Basin Commission in October 2014, and took part in the discussion for the establishment of a multinational force, agreed in Niamey in January 2015. West Africa 58 United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia and Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force: implementation of the Joint Plan of Action for the Implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia Ongoing The Regional Centre and the Task Force have for the past few years been involved in efforts for the Joint Plan of Action for the Implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia. Within the initiative, the linkages between terrorism and organized crime are being addressed, notably through activities that underline the need to strengthen border security and management to counteract terrorism and to strengthen counter-terrorism financing. Central Asia 59 United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia and UNODC: combating illicit drugs Ongoing UNODC, in cooperation with the Regional Centre, promotes activities aimed at combating illicit drugs and addressing the nexus between drug trafficking and organized crime in the region. Central Asia
1. For the full definition, see article 3 of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. [Back]
2. For the full definition, see article 3 of the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. [Back]
5. Laura Heaton, "Nigeria: kidnapped schoolgirls 'sold as wives to Islamist fighters'", Daily Telegraph, 30 April 2014. Available from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/nigeria/10797454/Nigeria-kidnapped-schoolgirls-sold-as-wives-to-Islamist-fighters.html. [Back]
6. Rukmini Callimachi, "Paying ransoms, Europe bankrolls Qaeda terror", New York Times, 29 July 2014. Available from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/30/world/africa/ransoming-citizens-europe-becomes-al-qaedas-patron.html?_r=1. [Back]
7. United States of America, Department of Treasury and Department of State, "U.S. Government efforts to protect and promote charitable giving", in Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe CTN Electronic Journal, Preventing the Abuse of Non -Profit Organizations for Terrorist Financing (June 2011). [Back]
Corruption and organized crime
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