Mandate of the Terrorism Prevention Branch
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) began to focus on counter-terrorism issues in 1999. Following the approval in 2002 of a strengthened programme of activities, UNDOC's Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) was mandated to provide, upon request, technical assistance to Member States for the ratification and implementation of the international legal instruments related to the prevention and suppression of terrorism.
More specifically, the Terrorism Prevention Branch is mandated to:
- Promote the ratification and implementation of the 19 international legal instruments against terrorism;
- Assist Member States to bring their counter-terrorism legislation in line with these instruments;
- Provide training to criminal justice officials aimed at strengthening their capacities to prevent and combat terrorism; and
- Strengthen regional and international cooperation in criminal matters.
This mandate has subsequently been reiterated and enhanced through relevant resolutions, strengthening the key role of the Branch in global efforts to prevent and suppress terrorism. In particular, in response to the request by Member States for specialized capacity building assistance, the TPB has focused on developing counter-terrorism expertise on a range of thematic areas, including:
- Countering the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes;
- Support and assistance to victims of acts of terrorism;
- Tackling chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism;
- Responding to transport-related offences;
- Promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism; and
- Countering terrorist financing.
In addition, the Branch provides substantive input on counter-terrorism issues to United Nations intergovernmental bodies, especially the General Assembly, the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the Economic and Social Council and the United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. The TPB also provides specialized input on relevant counter-terrorism issues for United Nations-wide initiatives and coordinates its activities with other entities and organizations.