In Cooperation with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT)
THURSDAY 11th FEBRUARY
9am EST / 2pm UK / 3pm CET
Cross-border Cooperation & Information Sharing in the Context of Counter-Terrorism and related transnational organized crime: Addressing Threats, Challenges, Response Measures and Good Practices
- Introduction to the webinar series thematic areas and case studies
I. Western Europe: Spain’s experience from 11-M to the 2017 Barcelona attacks
II. West Africa: The Accra Initiative: Operation Koudanlgou II & III
III. Western Balkans: UNCCT-INTERPOL Project HOTSPOT
- Interactive Dialogue: Previous Experiences & Success Stories
- Q & A
Understanding, anticipating, and effectively addressing current and emerging terrorism and security threats are critically important but are also among the most challenging tasks of the law enforcement community. Terrorists and their affiliates often move across borders and regions in order to recruit, establish new cells and areas of influence, plan and organize attacks, avoid detection and arrest, finance their activities, and return to their countries of origin.
Timely access to critical information about identified or suspected terrorist activity is central to counter-terrorism efforts. The exchange of information and cross-border cooperation are critical tools for investigations into transnational crimes as well as for the identification of terrorists and foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) (including returnees and relocators) as well as the organized criminal networks that facilitate their travel. Enhancing the sharing of operational information on terrorists and FTFs, including biometric data, assists in building situational awareness of travel routes and modus operandi so that coordinated measures for prevention and prosecution may be strategically implemented. However, information exchange and inter-agency cooperation, both within and between countries, while routinely touted as critical components of border security and management, have historically been difficult to achieve and remain significant challenges.
In achieving strong and enforceable counter-terrorism frameworks, countries must adopt effective border controls, issue secure travel documents, with the corollary need to exchange operational information concerning terrorists and foreign terrorist fighters and expand cross-border criminal investigations. Having adequate operational procedures and policy mechanisms in place allows law enforcement agencies to effectively address the foreign terrorist fighter phenomenon and tackle the linkages between terrorism and transnational organized crime.
Equally important, however, is that the collection, use, and sharing of operational data, including biometrics is done in a responsible manner in line with Member States’ obligations under domestic and international law, in particular obligations under international human rights law, refugee law, and humanitarian law. Respect for human rights and the rule of law is complementary with effective counter-terrorism measures and essential to successful counter-terrorism efforts.
The objective of the webinar is to awareness of the need to address terrorist threats and cross-border challenges through effective information sharing within a regional approach. Furthermore, it will offer a platform to highlight the importance of inter-agency coordination and cooperation at the national, regional and interregional levels in the adoption and implementation of operational response measures within a rule of law framework to comply with the obligations set forth in the relevant international instruments (especially those on human rights, refugee and international humanitarian law) to enable Member States to better address the terror-crime nexus and effectively protect their borders against potential incursions by terrorists, traffickers and other transnational criminals. Finally, it will also enable representatives of LEAs to discuss common issues and share identified good practices and lessons learned on the available tools and technological developments.
- Rocco Messina, Head Border Security and Management Unit, United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT)
- Esther Zubiri, Senior Expert, United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism – United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNOCT-UNCCT)
- Badreddine El Harti, Principal SSR-RoL Adviser, UN Special Adviser to the President of Burkina Faso
- Florian Forster, Head of Division, Immigration and Border Management (IBM), International Organization for Migration (IOM)
- Albina Yakubova, Programme Management Officer, OSCE Transnational Treats Department /Border Security and Management Unit