UNODC conducted a workshop “Interinstitutional Cooperation on preventing firearms trafficking and its diversion to terrorists” in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

On 25-26 July 2022, within the framework of the Joint UNODC/UNOCT initiative “Addressing the terrorism-arms-crime nexus: Preventing and combatting the illicit trafficking of small-arms and light weapons and their illicit supply to terrorists” - Phase II, workshop on Interinstitutional Cooperation on preventing firearms trafficking and its diversion to terrorists was organized in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The event brought together over 20 representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice, State Security Service, State Border Guards of the State Security Service, State Customs Committee, Supreme Court, National Guards as well as General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan.  

Interinstitutional cooperation at national and international level plays a paramount role in countering illicit firearms trafficking and diversion of small arms and light weapons to terrorists by collecting, analyzing and sharing information, organizing joint operational activities and offering mutual support during the investigation, prosecution and adjudication stages. The project envisages achieving  effective cooperation, sharing of information and exchange of good practices, at regional and international level, through direct contacts, communities of practitioners and specialized networks. This   workshop  focused on enhancing national interinstitutional cooperation and information sharing to effectively address the links between terrorism and trafficking in arms.   

Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative to Central Asia, in her opening remarks noted: “I would like to express my gratitude to the Government of Uzbekistan for its commitment in implementing joint initiatives with UNODC, including this project and considering that arms control is usually divided between various national institutions we appreciate the fact that Uzbekistan nominated a wide array of participants to this workshop, trying to cover all involved institutions involved in arms control. UNODC is committed to further support the efforts of Uzbekistan to combat illicit trafficking and illegal use of firearms and ammunition, and its links to terrorism, especially in the context of the current situation in Afghanistan and welcome further discussions with national authorities on this issue”.  

The interinstitutional workshop was aimed at identifying the main institutions responsible for firearms detection, investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of illicit firearms trafficking and the nexus of this specific crime with organized crime and terrorism; analyzing the current level of cooperation between  national institutions, identifying gaps that negatively impact interinstitutional cooperation,  and discussing potential solutions, tools and good practices to improve and increase such cooperation ; and sharing of information related to firearms.     

Paul Ianovici, UNODC Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer said: "Firearms remain the weapon of choice for terrorists, especially when involved in large scale attacks or in insurgencies. Firearms trafficking is the main supply of firearms to terrorists, and it is per se a transnational crime, so international cooperation plays an important role in tackling the phenomenon. Considering that, at national level, multiple institutions have attributes in firearms control at the borders as well as inside the territory, cooperation among these institutions is of utmost importance to ensure an adequate response."   

The participants of the workshop discussed the current framework for interinstitutional cooperation and information exchange as well as mechanisms for international cooperation with regard to firearms trafficking and counter terrorism;  the arms-crime-terrorism nexus (ACT) through the lens of interinstitutional cooperation; experiences from countries in developing national policies or action plans on counter terrorism and on firearms and exploring their connections; the role of national firearms commissions  and other related bodies  in setting policies, strategies and actions to address the arms-crime-terrorism nexus;; investigative elements to expand the investigation and linkage of firearms trafficking with organized crime and terrorism; coordination of actions in investigation and prosecution by specialized units.

At the end of the event  the participants agreed to continue exchanging experiences and good practices between specialists in the criminal justice system; improve capacities of collection, analysis and exchange of information at interinstitutional level; improve cooperation between national institutions at operational levels as well as for the detection, investigation, prosecution and adjudication of illicit firearms trafficking and its nexus with organized crime and terrorism between the  ministries and law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Uzbekistan responsible for tackling firearms trafficking. 


The UNODC/UNOCT joint project “Addressing the terrorism-arms-crime nexus: Preventing and combatting the illicit trafficking of small-arms and light weapons and their illicit supply to terrorists” was launched on 21 February 2020 at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA. The project aims at supporting the implementation of relevant international instruments on organized crime, terrorism and arms control, including the Firearms Protocol and its parent Convention on Organized Crime (UNTOC), the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. Overall, the project contributes to the elaboration and implementation of integrated action plans and strategies to address trafficking of firearms, in the context of terrorism and organized crime in target countries and the overall sub-region.

This initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

For more information please contact:


Arifa Fatikhova

Communications and External Relations Officer

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Regional Office for Central Asia

Mobile: (+998 93) 505-05-58 | Email: arifa.fatikhova[a]