Maldives: UNODC strengthens officials’ capacities to prevent and respond to IED threats

Male, Maldives/12 October 2023: Enhancing inter-agency coordination and collaboration, as well as the sharing of best practices, is a critical imperative in the ongoing global effort to combat the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) for terrorist purposes. The ever-evolving nature of terrorism, coupled with the destructive potential of IEDs, necessitates a unified and proactive approach among law enforcement, security agencies, and international organizations. By fostering cooperation and disseminating effective strategies, nations can better prepare, respond, and ultimately mitigate the threats posed by IEDs.

In this backdrop, UNODC trained over 20 officials from key institutions within the Maldives’ public administration engaged in preventing and countering terrorism at a workshop in Male. Participants included officials from the Maldives Customs Service, Financial Intelligence Unit, Attorney General’s Office, Prosecutor General’s Office, Aviation Security Command, Criminal Court, Maldives Police Service, National Counter Terrorism Centre, as well as the Defence Intelligence Service and the Explosive Ordinance Disposal units within the Maldives National Defence Force.

Covering over ten thematic sessions, the training was delivered in person and in a hybrid format by experts from UNODC, INTERPOL and the World Custom Organization among others. Discussions focused on technical aspects of inter-agency coordination and collaboration and the financial disruption of terrorism and related IED networks. The legal aspects and criminal justice responses linked to the applicable normative framework in preventing and countering IEDs were also examined in depth.

With the training, participants increased knowledge and understanding of inter-agency cooperation and collaboration between national officials in the Maldives. They also displayed an enhanced awareness in the effective use of international databases and evolving responses to counter IED in terrorism-related offenses through upstream network disruption.

The workshop took place within the framework of the project “Support to Addressing the Risk of Terrorism and to Increasing Security in the Maldives”, carried out with funding by the European Union. The workshop was designed in line with the findings of the ‘Counter-IED Capability Maturity Model and Self-Assessment Tool Report,’ drafted in 2021 under a previous UNODC project also funded by the European Union.

Taking forward this capacity-building initiative, UNODC will organize a follow-up course, tentatively scheduled for the last quarter of 2023. Building on the outcomes of the workshop, the following event will address aspects linked to cross-regional and international cooperation, and good practices in the disruption, prevention, investigation, and prosecution of offences involving the use of IEDs.

This activity contributed to SDG 5, SDG 16 and SDG 17:

(Funded by the European Union)