Afghanistan: In-depth Country Programme
As part of its efforts to support the government of Afghanistan to offer an effective, rule of law-based response to terrorism, UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) has been strengthening its provision of counterterrorism-related legal technical assistance to the country since 2004.
Within the framework of the broader UNODC Afghanistan Country Programme for 2012-2014, developed following thorough consultations with relevant authorities, TPB's efforts to achieve an internationally compliant and functional legal regime against terrorism in Afghanistan are multi-pronged and focus primarily on:
- Bringing national counter-terrorism legislation in line with the international legal framework against terrorism;
- Expanding training and advisory activities to all the provinces of Afghanistan;
- Broadening the scope of specialized training to be delivered to Afghan practitioners;
- Strengthening regional cooperation in criminal matters.
UNODC/TPB is working in close cooperation with Afghan authorities and with national counterterrorism practitioners with a view to strengthening their ability to ratify and implement the 18 international legal instruments against terrorism, and also to galvanize the necessary political support for TPB's technical assistance to achieve the expected outcomes.
To this end, TPB is building the capacity of Afghan criminal justice officials through, inter-alia, the development and dissemination of technical assistance tools, such as the Digest of Terrorist Cases and the bench book on the International Legal Framework against Terrorism (published in both official languages of Afghanistan-Dari and Pashto), but also by organizing, in close cooperation with the UNODC Regional representative, a series of regional-level and national training events covering different aspects of the challenges related to the prevention and suppression of terrorism.
Most recently, the Branch organized a study visit for Afghan senior prosecutors, judges and law enforcement officers to Moscow, Russian Federation. During their four-day study tour, from 24 to 28 of September 2012, Afghan senior officials were introduced to the work and efforts of the ministries and agencies of the Russian Federation, relevant to prevention, investigation, prosecution and adjudication of the terrorism-related offences. The visit served as a good opportunity for Afghan practitioners to strengthen their cooperation with their Russian counterparts, by exchanging ideas, expertise and good practices.
To date, TPB assistance to Afghanistan has also led to the successful establishment of a National Counter-Terrorism Committee, which is central to coordinating the country's efforts to tackle the multifaceted challenges posed by terrorism. Moreover, the TPB, in close cooperation with the Financial Intelligence Unit of Afghanistan (FINTRACA), completed a full review of the national counterterrorism legislation.
Despite important progress, much more work remains to be done in order to achieve a strong and fully functional legal regime against terrorism in Afghanistan. The Terrorism Prevention Branch of the UNODC stands ready to continue and multiply its on-going efforts to support the Government of Afghanistan in the long-term fight against terrorism.