The overall objective of UNODC counter-terrorism technical assistance is to support Member States in achieving a functional universal legal regime against terrorism in accordance with the principles of the rule of law as well as national and regional specificity. The assistance provided helps the countries to comply with the requirements of Security Council (SC) Resolutions relating to terrorism, in particular SC Resolutions 1267 and 1373. This work is carried out by UNODC anti-terrorism experts within the framework of the ongoing UNODC Global Project on Strengthening the Legal Regime against Terrorism, launched in January 2003.
Strengthening the Legal Regime
UNODC assists the countries of the MENA region to become parties to the remaining universal legal instruments they have not yet ratified; assists the countries of the region to incorporate into national legal frameworks the provisions of aforementioned instruments, and ensures the effective implementation thereof by providing specific technical assistance activities and training to develop the capacities and expertise of the concerned criminal justice officials. Furthermore, UNODC works at the regional level to strengthen legal cooperation in the field of criminal matters pertaining to counter-terrorism, including extradition and mutual legal assistance.
UN Counter-Terrorism Global Strategy
The implementation of the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy at the national level entails uniting the efforts of all the international organizations concerned along with the various national bodies entrusted with countering terrorism at the country level.
A number of countries in the region have approached the UNODC Regional Office in Cairo requesting its assistance in developing a national strategy to respond to the Global Strategy. Based on the above, the Regional Office, within the framework of its mandate and in cooperation with international key actors, is currently working on conceptualizing a comprehensive framework that can serve as an effective mechanism for the implementation of the Global Strategy from a national perspective. The said project will adopt an integrated approach to put in place the main elements necessary for supporting national capacities dealing with counter-terrorism.
This includes, but is not limited to the following:
- State responsibility to protect against terrorism, scope and elements of a preventive criminal justice system against terrorism and other forms of related transnational crimes and enhancing international cooperation mechanisms related to the fight against terrorism.
- Developing and maintaining an effective and rule-of-law-based criminal justice system that can ensure, in accordance with the obligations under international law, that any person who participates in the financing, planning, preparation or perpetration of terrorist acts or in support of terrorist acts is brought to justice, while ensuring due respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
- As called for in the Global Strategy and as far as UNODC mandate permits, contribute to the promotion of initiatives and programmes related to fostering peaceful dialogue, tolerance and understanding among civilizations, cultures, peoples and religions, promotion of peace, justice, and human development, and encouraging education and public awareness programmes involving all sectors of society. This can be pursued in close collaboration and coordination with UNESCO and other relevant organizations also in view of the fact that UNESCO is expected to play a key role, including through inter-faith and inter-faith dialogue among civilizations, taking advantage of national and regional initiatives in this regard.
Cyber Crime Prevention
The explosive growth of the online world has given place to a variety of poorly understood vulnerabilities and to a lack of clear legal rules, especially in the international setting. Due to loopholes in legal frameworks, an unsatisfactory harmonization among existing legislations and the lack of appropriate organizational structures, threats posed by cyber means are without doubt a national, regional and international problem.
Crimes committed by means of internet are neither confined within the borders of one nation nor constrained by the perimeter of another. Cyber crime, quite literally, knows no boundaries. This transnational nature of cyber crime has given rise to many problems in the international community since the development of the World Wide Web, and has consequently, attracted attention to the need for enhanced legislation and increased international co-operation.
Ministries of Interior and Justice across the Middle East and North Africa
Ministries of Interior and Justice in Yemen