On 19-21 March 2019, the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) organized a regional expert workshop on critical infrastructure and the protection of “soft” targets. Held at the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore, the follow-up workshop to an earlier meeting held in January 2019 was attended by Government officials from the region, as well as experts from UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Supported by the Government of Japan, the meeting of practitioners provided an opportunity to focus on gaps, needs, and other areas of interest identified at the previous event. The follow-up workshop addressed, in more detail, the need to develop national strategies and action plans on protection of critical infrastructure and “soft” targets from terrorist attacks. The discussions recognized possible synergies between the protection of critical infrastructures and the protection of “soft” targets pursuant to Security Council resolution 2396 (2017), bearing in mind the differences in the applicable conceptual and normative frameworks. Synergies were also explored from existing crisis management mechanisms and national security plans, which could serve as a basis for further developing national measures focusing on critical infrastructure and “soft” target protection. The event further provided an opportunity to promote the Compendium of Good Practices on the Protection of Critical Infrastructures Against Terrorist Attacks, and provided information on existing practices to enhance the implementation of Security Council resolution 2341 (2017) and relevant resolutions among Southeast Asian Member States.
The participants noted that main challenges in this area relate to establishing partnerships and communicating with the private sector actors, establishing engagement at local level, enhancing understanding of the importance of critical infrastructure and “soft” target protection at national level, as well as lack of necessary resources.
More photos from the workshop can be found on CTED’s Flickr.