Side-event on Central Asian Responses to Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism

On 20 May, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Central Asia, the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch in partnership with the United Nations Office on Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) convened a virtual side event on “Central Asian Responses to Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism”, on the margins of the 31st Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ). 

Mr.Darkhan Razuev, Head a.i. of the Department on Countering Extremism of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr.Ilgiz Turganbaev, the representative of the Coordination Center for Cybersecurity of the State National Security Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Furkat Akbarov - Deputy Head of the Main Directorate for the Execution of Criminal Sentences of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr.Bazarbay Annayev, Head of Division of the State Border Service of Turkmenistan and Mr.Dilshod Rakhimov, Head of  the Department of Countering Economic Crimes under General Prosecutor Office, Uzbekistan delivered their statements to the event participants.

Crime prevention and criminal justice systems of Central Asian countries currently face several challenges connected to prevention and countering of transnational organized crime, terrorism and violent extremism. These challenges are partly connected to the increased illicit drug trafficking from Afghanistan, surge of online crimes, domestic violence and gender-based violence (GBV) cases spike in the households during the COVID-19 pandemic, radicalisation in local communities as well as high unemployment rates among youth, which constitute around 60% of the population in Central Asia.

The side event offered Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan a platform to share experiences and good practices on regional and international cooperation to address transnational organized crime and terrorism, including arms trafficking, cybercrime, violent extremism in prisons and illicit financial flows. It also contribute to the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action for the Implementation of the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia, the first regional framework designed to address the threat of terrorism through a common approach, based on the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and increasing international counter-terrorism cooperation.

"Central Asian countries share a common understanding that effective crime prevention and responsive criminal justice systems should be based on fair, effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels to implement rights-based national strategies, criminal legislation and fair trial procedures, as key means of achieving peaceful, just, and inclusive societies free of crime, violence and terrorism”, outlined Ms. Ashita Mittal, Regional Representative of the UNODC in Central Asia. 


During the side-event, over 100 participants - including representatives from the Governments of five Central Asian states, national law enforcement agencies, judiciary, academia, expert community, Civil society Organizations and international partners in the region - had an opportunity to share and discuss the prevention of the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons, national cybersecurity strategies, prevention of radicalization and violent extremism in prisons, cross-border cooperation to address transnational organized crime and prevent terrorism as well as countering illicit financial flows in the region to tackle emerging threats.“As the world sees new threats emerge in connection with transnational organized crime and terrorism, as criminals aim to exploit gaps in the criminal justice responses adopted by States, the challenges shall be overcome through coordinated whole-of-society and whole-of-government policies and frameworks”, emphasised Mr. Masood Karimipour, Chief, Terrorism Prevention Branch of UNODC in his address to the on-line side-event participants.

Mr. Muhammad Rafiuddin Shah, Chief of Policy, Knowledge Management and Coordination Branch, United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) in New York expressed his gratitude to increased partnership with Central Asian countries “in some 25% of our capacity-building and technical assistance projects, delivered through our United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, in close collaboration with a number of Global Counter- Terrorism Coordination Compact entities – including UNODC”.

According to the Central Asian speakers, one of the key transnational threats to the region is the financing of terrorism, which usually benefits from the use of illicit financial flows and money laundering. They outlined that the Central Asian authorities are currently adopting measures to implement UN Security Council Resolutions and the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as well as Eurasian group on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism (EAG).

Cross-cutting issues in connection with foreign terrorist fighters, and radicalisation leading to violent extremism in prison contexts, were mentioned by participants as emerging threats with an impact on cross-border contexts. During the side-event, a specific focus was also given to the effective prison management efforts, made in cooperation with UNODC ROCA and other partners, in order to prevent radicalization and violent extremism in prisons and applying Nelson Mandela rules to protect the human rights of prisoners.


For more information, contact Vasilina Brazhko

Communication and PR Specialist at

UNODC Criminal Justice and PVE programmes in Central Asia

at +996775987817 WhatsApp or Cellphone

Vasilina.brazhko [at]