Already in 2013, the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched a process that focused on effective so-called central authorities in requests for extradition and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. A central authority is an agency or organization that is designed to play a key facilitating role in the implementation and operation of international judicial cooperation. Since then, two regional gatherings have been held on this theme, with a third meeting recently arranged in Asia.

Participants in the regional meeting.

Participants in the regional meeting.

From 7 to 9 November 2017, CTED and UNODC co-organized a regional meeting for South and South-East Asian countries on international judicial cooperation in terrorist cases, including cases involving foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs). This follows the adoption by the Security Council of resolution 2322 (2016), which reiterated the importance of international cooperation, and reminded Member States of the critical role played by central authorities in this respect.

Held in Kandooma, and hosted by the Government of the Maldives, the regional meeting’s opening remarks were delivered by the Minister of Defence and National Security, Honourable Adam Shareef Umar. Participants discussed challenges and possible solutions, including on the collection of digital evidence, and were requested to identify priority actions to be taken by their respective governments. Funded by the Governments of Canada and Japan, the regional meeting saw the participation of experts from Australia, Canada, and the United States, as well as representatives from INTERPOL, the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP), and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

An outcome document is in the process of being processed; it will be posted here as soon as it is available.