Project to address terrorism-arms-crime nexus in Central Asia: CTED, UNCCT and UNODC to hold the first virtual deep-dive assessment mission to Kazakhstan
The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), leading the assessment component of the project, together with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT/UNCCT) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will conduct the first virtual deep-dive assessment mission to Kazakhstan from 18 to 25 January 2021. The virtual deep-dive assessment mission is part of the project on addressing the connection between terrorism, organized crime and the illicit trafficking of (SALW) in Central Asia, jointly implemented by UNOCT/UNCCT and UNODC in close collaboration with CTED and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA).
The United Nations Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) requires States to refrain from providing any form of support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, including by eliminating the supply of weapons to terrorists. It is widely acknowledged that the connection between terrorism and organized crime, including the illicit trafficking of SALW, is a serious threat to international peace and security. It is also an obstacle to sustainable development and a threat to the rule of law. Many terrorist groups around the world prefer SALW as they are low cost and easy to access, transfer, hide and use. The challenges that Member States face to detect, seize and trace illicit firearms, as well as the difficulties in investigating and prosecuting specific firearms trafficking cases, are other incentives for terrorists and criminals to move illicit weapons between countries and regions.
Over the past years, Kazakhstan has undertaken a number of initiatives aimed at strengthening the control over the circulation of small arms and preventing the illicit trade in arms. These include annual operative and preventative measures as well as inspections of firearms storage facilities and explosive material depots. Moreover, given the high risks of movement of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), measures have been taken to strengthen border security to prevent FTF travel.
The virtual deep-dive assessment mission will allow for an interactive dialogue between national institutions and project stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the current situation related to illicit SALW trafficking and its links to terrorism in Kazakhstan and the Central Asian region as a whole. National institutions will have an opportunity to discuss in detail their current initiatives and capacities to prevent and combat the illicit trafficking of SALW and their illicit supply to terrorists, as well as their status of implementation of relevant international instruments and Security Council resolutions on counterterrorism, including resolutions 2370 (2017), 2482 (2019) adopted in this field. It will also allow the United Nations and Kazakhstani authorities to assess the existing legislative, institutional and operational framework and response capacity, as well as to identify their priority technical assistance needs, which could be addressed and supported through the project.