Nexus between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism

The Initiative on the Nexus between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism (Nexus Initiative)

In response to growing evidence and Member States’ concerns about the links between transnational organized crime and terrorism, and in continuation of the work of UNICRI on the Nexus from 2016, the Institute has established a partnership with the Government of the Netherlands and the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) to capitalize on achievements and support the efforts of the international community on this matter. The Nexus initiative seeks to expand on existing knowledge as well as to develop new strategies that can allow for effective interventions where the nexus is present.

The Nexus initiative focuses on the regional variations of the nexus, in all its forms and manifestations, and is underpinned by several regional workshops:

  • Algiers (Algeria), October 2017, covering the West Africa and Sahel region – in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Algeria.
  • Tirana (Albania), February 2018, focusing on the Balkan region – in collaboration with Government of Albania, specifically the Coordination Centre for Countering Violent Extremism.
  • Singapore (Singapore), March 2018, focusing on the Southeast and South Asia region – in collaboration with INTERPOL.
  • Nairobi (Kenya), May 2018, focusing on the Horn of Africa and East Africa region – in collaboration with the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Kenya.

A diverse range of relevant stakeholders partook in the meetings, including representatives of different governmental agencies, members of the academia, the private sector, international and regional organizations and civil society and non- governmental organizations. From the information and data gathered during the meetings, and further consultations with relevant stakeholders, UNICRI in cooperation with the Netherlands and under the auspices of the Global Counter terrorism Forum (GCTF) developed The Hague Good Practices on the Nexus between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism. The Good Practices document was endorsed at the GCTF ministerial meeting in New York in September 2018 and presented at the Security Council Open briefing of the Counter-Terrorism Committee on “The nexus between international terrorism and transnational organized crime” in October 2018.

In order to translate the Good Practices into concrete actions, UNICRI has developed a Policy Toolkit that will (a) help Member States to better understand and identify the phenomenon and how it is manifested and facilitated in specific contexts, including how the nexus works to erode state capacity and overall security; and, (b) provide Member States with guidance to respond to the links between organized crime and terrorism, and build capacity that will further enable Member States to address the nexus and its associated crimes.

The Policy Toolkit was launched by the Netherlands at the Fifteenth Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) Coordinating Committee in Malaga on 13-14 March 2019. It was recently presented during the Joint special meeting on the nexus between international terrorism and organized crime held on 26 April 2019 by the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), the ISIL (Da’esh)/Al-Qaida Committee, and the Taliban Committee.

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