Border security and management

“Terrorists, including foreign terrorist fighters use a wide variety of techniques to travel to destinations all over the world. With the number of international travelers continuing to increase, it is essential that we develop efficient counter-terrorism measures that facilitates rapid, efficient and secure processing at our borders.”

-- Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov, United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism

Improving border security and management

Through its Border Security and Management (BSM) Programme, UNCCT aims to strengthening Member States’ capacities to prevent the cross-border movement of terrorists and stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) through improved border security and management. 

The Programme is based on in-depth analysis of current border security gaps in the context of counter-terrorism that have been identified through previous UNCCT projects, such as the UNCCT-GCTF Border Security Initiative and the project on Raising Awareness and Building Capacity on Advance Passenger Information (API), as well as projects relating to border security and management that are currently being implemented globally by other UN entities, Member States and International and Regional Organizations (IROs). UNCCT also draws on the analysis of CTED. 

Mandate of the Programme 

Members of terrorist groups and FTFs continue moving across remote and sparsely controlled border zones that are often porous. Stemming this flow is recognized as a key element of global counter-terrorism efforts and requires concerted cooperation at the global, regional and national levels.  

UNCCT’s Border Security and Management Programme provides the framework for the development of a broad range of capacity building projects contributing towards the implementation of Pillar II of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2178 (2014) on preventing the travel of FTFs,  resolution 2322 (2016) on international cooperation in counter-terrorism, resolution 2396 (2017) on the threat posed by returning FTFs, and most recently resolution 2482 (2019)  on the terrorism-crime nexus. 

Programme’s activities  

Key deliverables and ongoing projects of the BSM Programme include:  

  • Provision of thematic expertise to Member States, regional and/or sub-regional bodies in developing and implementing comprehensive border management strategies and action plans which incorporate counterterrorism measures 
  • Delivery of specialized, tailored capacity-building training based on established ‘Good Practices in Border Security and Management to Strengthen National and Regional Capacities in Countering Terrorism’ 
  • Development and dissemination of reference material and guidance tools including modules on cross-border travel cycle pertaining to air, maritime, rail and bus travel 
  • Promoting utilization of the UN Compendium of Recommended Practices for the Responsible Use and Sharing of Biometrics in Counter Terrorism and regional activities to enhance awareness, knowledge and capacity of States to use and share biometric data in a responsible manner 

Programme’s coordination role 

UNCCT’s BSM Programme is intended to be flexible in nature to allow for close coordination and build on existing efforts of key UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact partner entities, regional and/or sub-regional bodies, as well as to address the ever-changing threat landscape, and most critically, to meet the evolving needs and requirements of Member States. UNCCT works closely with UNODC, IOM, CTED and others implementing the Programme. 

Programme’s impact 

Examples of UNCCT’s Border Security and Management Programme impact include: 

  • Assisted Member States and Regional bodies have enhanced awareness and understanding of established ‘Good Practices’ in the area of BSM as they relate to stemming the flow of FTFs across borders and have incorporated them within their National Border Management Strategies and Action Plans. 
  • Assisted Member States have enhanced awareness of good practices in all modes of cross-border transportation: land, air, sea and rail and related risk assessment and identification technologies.  
  • Assisted Member States have increased awareness and understanding of Advanced Passenger Information (API) as a tool for enhancing BSM and stemming the flow of FTFs. 
  • Assisted Member States have improved institutional training on BSM as it relates to counter-terrorism and stemming the flow of FTFs. 
  • Assisted Member States’ border authorities have acquired technical knowledge and practical skills to utilize cutting-edge communication technologies and equipment for stemming the flow of FTFs. 

In July 2019, the UNCCT BSM Unit, together with UNODC AIRCOP, delivered a specialized regional training to build the capacities of front-line border officials at international airports to address terrorism-related threats within the Caribbean region. This training was delivered to more than 45 officials from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Cuba, as well 350 online participants from the broader Caribbean-Latin American region who followed the training course via a virtual online learning platform. 

The same year, the BSM team delivered 5 regional capacity building trainings and an additional 3 on the national level. The team also supported key partners such as IOM, UNODC, OHCHR, INTERPOL, WCO, NATO, OSCE, FRONTEX, and GCTF.

UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy

The UN General Assembly adopted by consensus the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy on 8 September 2006. The strategy is a unique global instrument to enhance national, regional and international efforts to counter terrorism. The General Assembly reviews the Strategy every two years, making it a living document attuned to Member States’ counter-terrorism priorities.

UNCCT 2019 Annual Report

2019 Annual Report on the Fourth Year of the UNCCT 5-Year Programme

The "2019 Annual Report on the Fourth Year of the UNCCT 5-Year Programme" provides a comprehensive overview of all UN Counter Terrorism Centre's Programmes and Projects implemented in 2019, including their substantive and financial performance.

Previous Annual reports: [2018]  [2017]