Maldives: UNODC-European Union project to address risk of terrorism, enhance security

Male, Maldives/01 January 2023: UNODC has kicked off a new project, “Support to Addressing the Risk of Terrorism and to Increasing Security in the Maldives,” with funding support of the European Union. The project builds on the outcomes of the previous UNODC initiative “Support to Maldives on Counter-Terrorism”, also implemented with funding by the European Union and concluded in July 2021.

The official starting of the project followed its soft launching, which took place on 28 November 2022 in Male’, Maldives (Special anti-terrorism programme begins in Maldives (

The 2-million EUR initiative will unfold over 18 months, seeking to support state authorities in improving security at land and sea and focusing on countering violent extremism and terrorist threats. Priority intervention areas will include Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs), prosecution and adjudication of terrorist cases, prevention, detection and response to terrorist threats and incidents (particularly IED), and reducing the threat of radicalization in detention facilities.

Target entities will consist in more than ten specialized agencies and departments among Maldivian line ministries and offices within the Cabinet. More than 400 officials from such institutions will benefit from the project through their participation in the various activities and gaining of specialized knowledge and skills. Indirect beneficiaries will include, beside the Maldivian population at large, family members of Maldivian FTFs who left the country, victims of terrorist attacks, persons being prosecuted or in detention on terrorism charges. The project will seek fostering the involvement of youth and persons from remote locations, in application of the leave-no-one-behind principle. For that purpose, UNODC will deliver, whenever feasible, activities in remote islands as well as promote participation of practitioners from distant locations in events taking place in the capital.

A cross-regional workshop for criminal justice officials on effective and comprehensive rehabilitation and reintegration of FTFs will take place in Singapore on 31 January – 2 February 2023. Delivered within the framework of the project and of a parallel initiative, the event will mark the first activity implemented within the action. Further activities in the pipeline include a Train-the-Trainer session for criminal justice practitioners on the implementation of international legal framework relating to the returning FTFs (13-15 February 2023), and a consultative meeting between UNODC and Maldives’ Counter-Terrorism Steering Committee and Counter Radicalization Committee (16 February 2023). Both such events will take place in Male’, Maldives.

By taking a holistic approach, the project will allow all segments of the Maldivian institutional framework engaged in countering terrorism and violent extremism to strengthen their capacities. It will also facilitate inter- and intra-agency communication and cooperation, thus acting toward a coordinated approach in the country to curb such threats.

This activity contributes to SDG 5 and 16:

(Supported by the European Union)