Tackling Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism

In accordance with its mandate related to the prevention and suppression of international terrorism, the Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is assisting States with the ratification and implementation of the international  conventions and protocols against terrorism, including the seven instruments among those that deal, to varying extents, with chemical, biological, radiological and/or nuclear (CBRN) terrorism. The adoption of four of these instruments in 2005 and one in 2010 has generated an even greater need for specialized technical assistance services in this field. Consequently, the prevention of CBRN terrorism is one of the priority areas to which the Terrorism Prevention Branch is increasingly devoting its efforts. One example of its work in this area is the Workshop on the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, held in Dakar, Senegal, on 5 and 6 June 2013.

In 2009, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism granted UNODC official observer status, highlighting that "UNODC's commendable work in addressing issues related to counter terrorism, including nuclear terrorism, has already had a positive impact in promoting implementation of the universal legal framework against terrorism, including the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 Amendment, United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1540 and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism".

Participants at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Countering Nuclear Terrorism with a Specific Focus on Strengthening the Legal Framework, that was held in New York on 28 September 2012, also recognized the key role played by UNODC in promoting the ratification and the full implementation of the international legal instruments dealing with nuclear terrorism. In particular, they welcomed the positive impact that UNODC's Global Project on Strengthening the Legal Regime against Terrorism has had in increasing the number of ratifications and achieving effective implementation of the international legal instruments against nuclear terrorism and invited Member States to avail themselves of the UNODC's successful and long established technical legal assistance programme and capacity-building activities, and to continue to support them.

In carrying out its activities relevant to combating CBRN terrorism, the Terrorism Prevention Branch works in close partnership with specialized international and regional organizations and entities, including the Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit (BWC ISU), the United Nations Security Council Committee established pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) and its Group of Experts, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).